Ukraine Reflection

In Touch Community News

by Dr Dan Poulter MP

As I write these words on a crisp January day, with the festivities seeming far behind, I’m aware the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine approaches, by the time you read these lines this sombre date will have just passed. Like many of you I have been reflecting on the impact this has had across our country and particularly here in Suffolk. The tragic loss of life in Ukraine is deeply saddening and many people have been forced to flee their homes. The UK response to the crisis has been commendable, not least of all here in Suffolk where, as ever, I’ve been heartened by the response of our local communities.  

I’ve seen first-hand, the compassion for Ukrainian refugees from residents across Suffolk and it is humbling to witness the way the Ukrainian families have settled into life here, with children attending schools and parents finding work. How difficult attempting a normal life in a foreign country must be, whilst worrying about loved ones forced to stay behind. As a regular visitor to our local schools, during a recent visit I was delighted to meet with a young Ukrainian student who my parliamentary team and I assisted in settling here. The student is now thriving within the school, and I was impressed to learn how easily they had settled into school and Suffolk life, supported by staff and fellow pupils.  

Perhaps the biggest impact the conflict has had for many in the UK and around the world is on the cost of living. We still find ourselves in the midst of a challenging winter as we count the cost of Putin’s energy war. However, despite this, we welcome the news that in recent weeks, gas prices have thankfully stabilised and started to fall. This will help in reducing the impact of the war on the UK’s inflation and cost of living for everyone. In addition to the impact on energy supplies and prices, Putin also appears to be weaponising food supplies. Both Russia and Ukraine are among the biggest exporters of fertiliser and a further consequence of the conflict has been a reduction in supplies of fertiliser to the UK. This has increased the cost of growing food and resulting in increased prices in the shops.

We all remain concerned about what the future holds for Ukraine and hope for a resolution soon, in the meantime our continued support for the UK Government’s position in standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine is right. I shall do everything I can to ensure the needs of Suffolk’s residents and businesses are heard in Westminster during these challenging times.  

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