Friday, 25 February 2022, 10:26
Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, issued a statement on the crisis in Ukraine on Thursday evening, 24 February, in which he described Russia’s action in launching a full-scale invasion of a sovereign, democratic nation without any provocation or reasonable excuse as “nothing short of appalling”.
“None of us expected to witness such unforgivable aggression in Europe in our lifetimes. Gibraltar therefore joins with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, leaders of other nations and people around the World in condemning this action in the most strident terms. Our thoughts and prayers today are with the people of Ukraine. Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, within the limits of our powers, will join with and support Her Majesty’s Government in London in taking whatever action is necessary to persuade Russia to reverse its decision and to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, and to stop any other adverse interference in that country which undermines its sovereignty. To that end, whatever sanctions and other penalties the United Kingdom imposes on Russia will automatically be recognised and enforced in and by Gibraltar,” he said.
The chief minister and the governor of Gibraltar, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, convened a meeting of the Gibraltar Security Council on Thursday and decided that as there has been no specific intelligence or otherwise to suggest that Gibraltar was a target in any way, the security position would remain the same, although the police forces, Borders and Coastguards Agency and HM Customs have heightened their state of alert.
The government also recommended that everyone be alert to the potential of cyber interference and to make provision for the protection of their digital systems.
“Today’s events leave us all shocked and anxious, for Ukraine and for the whole of Europe. Gibraltar has endured war and knows what it means, especially as it affects civilians. Gibraltar will therefore stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and allies across Europe at this dark hour, but especially alongside our friends in Ukraine with whom we stand in solidarity at this dark moment in modern European history,” the statement ended.
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