According to Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine—which she refers to as a "invasion on Ukraine by Russia"—will end on Ukraine's terms.
Additionally, as Ms Laing stated, the UK government was supporting Ukraine wholeheartedly by providing both military and humanitarian aid as well as aiding in its rehabilitation.
This was said by Ms Laing on Sunday at the Abuja forum for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“So, everyone of course wants this to end, but the UK position is clear. This has to end when Ukraine feels ready to end it.
“We are 100 per cent supporting Ukraine. They’re fighting for all of us; for them, fighting for freedom for defence of democracy; for the UN, the principles of the UN, they are taking huge losses.
“And yes, there are consequences and through high food, fuel and fertiliser prices, we are all suffering. It is Russia that is responsible for those consequences.
“So, of course, we want it to end but it must end on the right terms. We are supporting Ukraine but this is not our war.
“You know, Russia has invaded Ukraine and we and the U.S are providing military support with the whole of NATO standing behind Ukraine.
“We’re also providing humanitarian support and we’re on standby to help Ukraine’s reconstruction.
“But it must be for Ukraine, as a sovereign country that has been invaded, to determine the outcome and the time they want to start negotiations. That must be their decision,” Ms Laing said.
Ms Laing added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a violation of international law under the UN Charter, which had been condemned by many countries.
“It is absolutely horrific to see what is happening. It is a violation of international law under the UN Charter.
“We have had two UN resolutions, one was when the invasion first happened in the United Nations General Assembly, and one last month.
“And Nigeria voted in support of those resolutions on both occasions, in recognition that this is a violation of the UN Charter. So, I think Russia is basically isolated.
“And you see what’s happening at the G20 Summit at the moment. Not surprisingly, Putin has not gone, he sent his Foreign Minister Lavrov.
“And every single one of those countries around the table, including India and China, are criticising Russia and saying this is not acceptable,” Ms Laing said.
On presumptions that the sanctions against Russia were not working, Ms Laing said the sanctions were strong and working against Russia, which could also be seen in its declining economy.
“They are working to the extent that you know, Russia’s economy, as we can actually see, is in massive recession. So, it is having an impact.
“I think it is true that Russia is still selling oil in certain parts of the world.
“So, of course, they will try and bypass, but I do not think it is correct to say the sanctions are not working.
“Sanction is just one tool that we have, you know, and it will never on its own solve this problem, but it does raise the cost for Russia, and at least over time.
“I think it will give them cause for thought as to how long they can sustain this from an economic point of view,” Ms Laing said.