Russian Ambassador to T&T, Alexander Kurmaz.

A verbal war has now developed between the European Union’s ambassador to T&T and the Russian Ambassador to T&T, over statements the latter made on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

EU ambassador to T&T Peter Cavendish spoke out yesterday on Twitter, in response to Russian ambassador Alexander Kurmaz’s comments in an article in the Sunday Guardian, headlined Russian Ambassador: ‘Hellish sanctions will hurt T&T’. In the article, Kurmaz, a non-resident ambassador based in Georgetown, Guyana, suggested the ongoing war could have serious economic and other effects on T&T and the rest of the region.

Cavendish says it was regrettable the Russian ambassador doesn’t recognise that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against the Ukraine has been condemned by a United Nations resolution supported by 141 countries.

Cavendish felt the Russian ambassador’s comments in the article were “… a manipulative attempt to win friends with promises of transactional benefits and trade whilst pretending that the problems lie elsewhere and ignoring the crimes of war being committed by Putin’s forces.”

“It is a distortion of history for Putin to pretend that Ukraine is not a sovereign state. The Ukrainian people are not alone in their hour of need and the EU and its allies will not abandon them,” Cavendish said.

“It is regrettable that innocent Ukrainian people are the victims of war crimes. Other former heads of state and key associates have been prosecuted in front of the International Criminal Court for their own crimes. It is to be hoped that justice will also be served for what is being done to the Ukrainian people.”

He said in the short to medium term, the international economy will adjust to reduce its interactions with the Russian economy.

Cavendish said the sanctions adopted by the EU and its allies worldwide “and with more to follow,” are necessary with every day as “more and more evidence of atrocities committed by Putin’s forces against the civilian population of the Ukraine.”

“The first consequences of EU and its allies’ sanctions should be that Putin and his hierarchy start to reflect on the reality of their actions and cease and desist,” he said.

Cavendish said the EU also recognises the large number of Russians who have protested inside Russia against Putin’s war.

“These are also acts of bravery against the repressive regime of Putin,” Cavendish said.

“These Russian citizens will undoubtedly pay a personal and professional price for their defence of democratic values. The price of peace may indeed be high. But the alternative is to accept a return to the era of ‘might is right’, imperialism and conquest.”