The Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK has this morning announced support for the people of Ukraine as well as setting out further action against Russia.
The Chief Minister said:
‘The Isle of Man Government condemns the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and deplores the ongoing military invasion of Ukraine.
‘I want to make it clear that the Isle of Man Government stands unreservedly in support of our friends in Ukraine. Their courage and resolve in the face of the advancing Russian forces has been remarkable.
‘We also stand full-square with the actions by world leaders to bring sanctions against Russia and we will ensure that sanctions are enforced whenever they are requested.’
Funding for refugees
Making a statement in the House of Keys, the Chief Minister said that half a million pounds (£500,000) is being made available to support those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. The government is currently in discussions with the Disasters Emergency Committee which is expected to launch an appeal in the coming days to support Ukrainian refugees. Alternatively, the funding may instead be made available to UN agencies working in the region.
Closure of Island’s ports and airspace
In his statement, the Chief Minister made clear that the Isle of Man’s airspace and ports have now been closed to Russian aircraft and vessels until further notice.
The Isle of Man is mirroring the UK’s approach in relaxing visa rules to support family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine. It means immediate family members are able to apply for a free family migration visa.
A dedicated email address for those who need urgent support and guidance is available at UkraineGuidance@gov.im.
The UK government has indicated this visa pathway is the first step in a wider range of measures to support those fleeing conflict. The Chief Minister said that the government will monitor the situation closely and if there are opportunities for the Isle of Man Government to offer additional support, it will do so.
On sanctions, the Chief Minister made it clear that the Isle of Man mirrors UK sanctions, including those recently introduced against Russia. This means that when a person or body is added to the UK sanctions list that person or body is automatically subject to equivalent measures in the Island.
If, or when, the UK widens its sanctions – for example, in respect of trade with Russia – the Isle of Man Government will work to ensure that the Island has the same measures in place as quickly as possible.
Work is underway to understand any Isle of Man links to Russian persons and entities, and the impact possible further UK sanctions measures may have. This includes – but is not limited to – the Island’s aircraft, shipping and general registries.
The Chief Minister added:
‘We will work to ensure that we are not a weak link in international pressure on the Putin regime. We will continue to play our part in international efforts to bring about peace and support those affected by the conflict.’