Scotland’s political and religious leaders voiced solidarity with the people of Ukraine yesterday as the anniversary approaches of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Archbishop William Nolan, leader of Scotland’s largest Catholic community, and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, spoke of their sadness for the people of Ukraine.
Neil Gray, the Scottish Government’s minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, also signalled continued government support for Ukraine and its people as the war enters its second year.
Archbishop Nolan said: “All wars must eventually come to an end. My hope and prayer on this anniversary is that the world’s attention might not only focus on short-term military gains but soon turn towards shaping a peace settlement which is based on justice, compassion and international law.”
It comes amid fears of heightened hostilities as Russia launched a rocket barrage that struck critical infrastructure in Ukraine on Thursday.
Gray said: “We hope for a Ukrainian victory, which is the best outcome for Ukraine as well as for longer-term peace and stability in Europe.”
Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields said his church had been working to support all those affected by the war against Ukraine through prayer, welcoming Ukrainians in local communities, reaching out to churches in the region, and supporting partners in the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid emergency response.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country will soon send their first Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of leaders, officials and diplomats, he said it was “wise to prepare for a long war”.
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