North Yorkshire County Council has said it is pledging to do everything possible to support the people of Ukraine in their fight against the Russian invasion and citizens forced to flee.
The County council is currently going through all investments, contracts and procurement arrangements to ensure it is not trading with Russian companies and will take immediate action to end contracts if necessary.
County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader, said:
We stand ready to do whatever is necessary to help Ukrainians in this war and to cut any ties we may have with Russia.
We do not believe we have such contracts, but we are going through our procurement records with a fine toothcomb.
The Russian people are not our enemy nor are all their businesses, but they must be made to realise the damage that their leader and his self-serving regime are inflicting, foremost on the independent sovereign state of Ukraine, but also on the world and on themselves. They have the ability to stop this illegal aggression.
We are also ready in North Yorkshire to provide welcome for people from Ukraine, as we have done for Syrian and Afghan refugees, and await details of the arrangements from the UK Government to do whatever is needed.
The county council says it also stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians living in North Yorkshire and with all residents and staff with friends and family living in Ukraine.
Carl Les said:
We will be working with all our partners across the region and nationally in the most effective way we can to support our people who are affected by this unprovoked Russian aggression and the atrocities we are currently witnessing.
We also understand that many people want to help immediately and centres have been set up to receive donations of goods and clothing.
We are also encouraging individuals to support the emergency appeals established by recognised agencies such as the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, UNICEF and Red Cross. They are seeking cash because it a much more efficient, effective and quicker way to get help from the UK.