Photo: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (c) 2015
Lord Risby and Sir Gerald Howarth MP met with four Ukrainian Members of Parliament in London
9 September 2015
Ukrainian MPs Oleksiy Ryabchyn, Svitlana Zalishchuk, Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska and Oleksiy Skrypnyk held a working visit to London on 8-9 September 2015, where they met with the Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society, Lord Risby, and the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ukraine, Sir Gerald Howarth MP.
Mr Ryabchyn and Ms Zalishchuk co-chair the Verkhovna Rada MP Group for Inter-Parliamentary Relations with the UK, while Ms Katser-Buchkovska is one of the Group’s Deputy Co-Chairs.
While in London, the four Ukrainian MPs also met with the British Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP, and with other British Government officials and MPs. They also met with representatives of the Ukrainian Community in the UK at the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
The British and Ukrainian politicians discussed ways to promote inter-parliamentary dialogue, as well as British support of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and constitutional reform in Ukraine were other key topics of discussions.
The Ukrainian Members of Parliament thanked the UK for its support in reforming Ukraine’s defence sector and providing trainings for Ukraine’s military units. They also invited the UK to be even more active in supporting Ukraine by tackling the Kremlin’s propaganda and providing lethal defensive equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces.
“The UK could do even more in terms of helping Ukraine cope with Russia. We ask for military support, first of all, for lethal defensive equipment that would help Ukraine to hold its line,” said Oleksiy Ryabchyn. “London is the ‘news capital’ of the English-speaking world, and it could do even more to deliver the anti-Putin coalition argument.”
Commenting on his meeting with the four Ukrainian MPs, Lord Risby noted the importance of parliamentarians in both countries getting to know each other and exploring each others’ views and challenges. “It was especially good to meet young Ukrainian parliamentarians who have a particular interest in building our bilateral relationship. Support for Ukraine at this difficult time is universal in the UK Parliament,” said the BUS Chairman.