Coventry City councillors from both parties united at the Full Council Meeting today to condemn the Russian actions in invading Ukraine and to pledge their support to refugees of the conflict.
A motion proposed by Labour member Cllr John Mutton, and seconded by Cllr Gary Ridley, Leader of the Conservative Opposition, was carried unanimously.
The motion spoke against the actions of President Putin and the Russian government, but praised the bravery of ordinary Russian people opposing the war.
It also announced that ‘with a heavy heart’ Coventry would be suspending twinning links with the Russian city of Volgograd – the city’s oldest twin city – and would explore the possibility of future twinning with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which has been devastated by weeks of relentless attacks and is currently under siege.
The motion reads:
“Coventry City Council condemns without reservation the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Government, led by President Putin.
“Our thoughts and solidarity are with the Ukrainian people.
“This war is a war brought about by Putin and is a war against democracy. Our thoughts are also with those brave Russian people who are protesting and demonstrating against Putin’s actions, despite the penalties they themselves face for daring to stand up and be counted.
“It is with a heavy heart, that at this time we will now pause our twinning links with the City of Volgograd until such a time that they can resume. We also pledge to explore the possibility of twinning with the city of Mariupol when the time is right.
“Coventry City Council supports the suspension of all cultural, educational and sporting exchanges with Russia.
“Furthermore, Coventry City Council vows to be part of any refugee dispersal programme for refugees coming to the UK from Ukraine, and we urge the Government to bring forward revised policies to allow any Ukrainian fleeing the war to enter the UK without bureaucratic barriers.
“This Council pledges support to all those communities affected by this war as we will continue to be the City of Peace and Reconciliation, and a City of Sanctuary.”
The discussion on Ukraine and the full meeting is available to view on the Council website at www.coventry.gov.uk