“We in the Virgin Islands pray for the safety of all the people who are innocently caught in the middle of this conflict. We hope for a speedy resolution, and for peace and good sense to prevail,” according to a statement from Government today, February 28, 2022.
Russia has refused to recognise Ukraine as a sovereign state, and although there have long been tensions and conflict started in 2014; things escalated when Russia launched an unprecedented invasion of its neighbor Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning, February 24, 2022.
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin issued a chilling warning to the West, saying any country which tried to “interfere” would face immediate consequences.
Countries, including the US and some countries in Europe have responded with sanctions against Russia.
The VI government of Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), which has been fighting to get the United Kingdom (UK) to understand the Virgin Islands' position on a similar issue, has said a country’s sovereignty and right to self-determination should be respected.
“In the modern civilised world, sovereignty, the right of people to self-determination, and the principles of international law must all be respected.”
Hon Fahie said, in addition to the VI’s concern that this conflict will cause and increase human suffering, it is also mindful that there are economic impacts - which are already showing and which will get worse – as well as social implications, which will ripple around the world.
“Leaders in some large economies are already cautioning their citizens to brace for tough times. Coming on the heels of the August floods and hurricanes of 2017 and more recently COVID-19, the possibility of war makes it important for us to be prepared for any disruptions that can be felt here.”
At home, residents are urged to be mindful of these impacts and how they may disrupt local industries and economy, which depend on international travel, commerce and trade.
“We must be vigilant and further strengthen our resilience through, for instance, pushing our transition to sustainable energy and assuring our food security. The Government of the Virgin Islands has already implemented measures to support development in these areas, and residents are encouraged to access these facilities so that we can bolster our resilience,” Premier Fahie said.