Nicola Sturgeon warns Ukraine invasion could be ‘most dangerous moment since Second World War’

Nicola Sturgeon has warned the Russian invasion of Ukraine could be the “most dangerous moment since the Second World War”.

The First Minister led condemnation of Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin cronies at the Scottish Parliament today following the overnight attacks on several Ukrainian cities.

Speaking in a hushed Holyrood chamber, the SNP leader said ordinary people living through the crisis “must feel and not just hear our support and our solidarity”.

She called for the UK Government to introduce severe sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs to limit their ability to do business in London.

It comes as Putin announced at 6am Moscow time that Russian armed forces had launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Nicola Sturgeon condemned Russia in a speech at the Scottish Parliament today
Nicola Sturgeon condemned Russia in a speech at the Scottish Parliament today

The First Minister said: “I want to condemn the unprovoked, imperialist aggression of Vladimir Putin.

“There can be no doubt that he must now face the severest of consequences – sanctions on him and his network of oligarchs and agents, their expulsion from countries around the world, sanctions on his banks and their ability to borrow and function, sanctions on his energy and mineral companies.

“And, here in the UK, immediate clean-up of the swirl of dirty Russian money in the City of London.”

Sturgeon continued: “But, just as Putin must face and feel the wrath of the democratic world, the people of Ukraine must feel and not just hear our support and our solidarity.

“The world must now help and equip Ukraine to defend itself and resist Russian aggression. We must ensure humanitarian aid and assistance, and we must all stand ready to offer rescue and sanctuary where necessary.”

She added: “This is a critical juncture in history – perhaps the most dangerous and potentially defining moment since the Second World War.

“We live in this moment but it is true to say that historic precedents will be set in the hours and the days to come.

“These will determine the new norms of what is acceptable, or not, in our international order.”

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservatives leader, said: “The world we woke up to this morning is a far darker and more unstable place than when we went to sleep last night.

“I said on Tuesday that the situation in Ukraine was at the forefront of all of our minds.

“Since then, the escalation and the aggression by the Russians towards the Ukraine confirms the only intention of President Putin was war no matter what the cost.

“But the cost will be high. In the first few hours, lives have already been lost.”

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “Today a hard-won and fragile peace in Europe has been shattered.

“It is a dark day and my party and I stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustiable.

“Across the world today, the message is clear – peace and democracy must prevail.”

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