Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, has issued a statement on Coventry's twinning links with the city of Volgograd.

He said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine and we call for a swift end to all hostility.

“Coventry has worked as a city of peace and reconciliation for many years, and we will do all we can to help and support the victims of this terrible war.

“Our links with the city of Volgograd helped to start that work for peace. We were the world’s first twins after we reached out to the people of the then Stalingrad during the Second World War after their city had suffered so badly.

“Those links have grown over the years and have benefitted many. Together, we have inspired others to work for peace and there are now twins around the world.

“Our friendship has always been with the people of Volgograd – the faith centres, schools, businesses, organisations and all those who share our desire for peace. It has never been a link to the Russian Government and never will be. It is with the people and for the benefit of the people.

“We want those links to continue in the years ahead as we believe that is the way towards peace – we cannot build understanding if we do not talk to one another.

“We know many people in Russia are calling for peace, and we hope our friends in Volgograd are adding their voice to that call.

“Coventry wants the people of Ukraine to know they have our city’s support and friendship and we will strengthen the call for an end to this war and a return to peace.”

Published: Wednesday, 9th March 2022