Cabinet and cross-party statement on Ukraine

At Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet meeting on 15 March, the leader of the council, Cllr Liz Leffman read out this statement which was agreed by all political parties and Cabinet.

Oxfordshire County Council condemns in the strongest terms the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine. The invasion of a sovereign state is an act of war. The deliberate bombing of civilian areas is a war crime. We call on all nations to play their part in bringing this conflict to an end.

Our nation and our county has a proud record of receiving refugees from conflict around the world. In recent years, we have welcomed those from Syria and Afghanistan. The response of the people of Oxfordshire, in common with others across the UK and EU, to the suffering of Ukrainians has been compassionate, generous and remarkable. Oxfordshire County Council stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will welcome and support those refugees who seek shelter in our county. We call on the Government to accelerate the process of admitting Ukrainian refugees to the UK and to increase the routes available to those fleeing conflict in their home country.

The Council believes that economic activity and financial transactions may support the leadership of the Russian state and fund the war in Ukraine. The Council notes that officers have scrutinised existing contracts for goods and services and provided assurance that none are held with Russian economic entities. We have already requested that any funds held in Russian companies or financial instruments be divested with immediate effect. It welcomes confirmation that the county’s pension fund is similarly divesting of any Russian assets.

The Council recognises the bravery of those who are resisting the invasion in Ukraine and who are opposing the war in Russia. People of both Ukrainian and Russian descent are appalled by the actions of the Russian government and personally affected by the conflict. We call on all residents of Oxfordshire to continue to show compassion, care and tolerance for each other, and we call on the Government to accelerate the process of admitting Ukrainian refugees to the UK and to increase the routes available to those fleeing conflict in their home country.