Scotland stands in ‘steadfast solidarity’, says Yousaf on Ukraine anniversary

Scotland stands in “steadfast solidarity” with the government and people of Ukraine, First Minister Humza Yousaf said as he marked the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Mr Yousaf joined political and religious leaders on Saturday at a service of remembrance at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, where he laid a wreath and gave a reading of Matthew 5:13-16.

Dozens of Ukrainians who have settled in Edinburgh were also in attendance.

Speaking to media before the service, Mr Yousaf said: “Most importantly, we stand with Ukrainians in Scotland to say with one voice that we stand in absolute steadfast solidarity with the government of Ukraine and with the people of Ukraine.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Humza Yousaf attends a memorial wreath-laying service at the Scottish National War Memorial (Jane Barlow/PA)

“We know that Russian, that Putin, won’t necessarily stop at Ukraine.

“We also make it really clear that this country is their home for as long as they need it.”

Mr Yousaf said that while he had differences with the UK Government, support from Westminster to Ukraine had been “steadfast” but there should be further assistance.

He added: “When it comes to this issue, there’s no difference between us, the Scottish Government, and the UK Government in relation to support that has been given for Ukraine.

“That support should be echoed by every country in Europe.

“This fight in Ukraine is not just for Ukraine, it is for all of us in Europe who believe in freedom and democracy.”

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Humza Yousaf with other dignitaries at Edinburgh Castle (Jane Barlow/PA)

They then lay wreaths, alongside politicians including Lord Offord, the parliamentary undersecretary of state for Scotland, Scottish Parliament presiding officer Alison Johnstone MSP and convener of the Scottish Parliament cross-party group on Ukraine, Colin Beattie.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton also lay a wreath along with representatives from the UK and Ukrainian armed forces and other consulate generals including Lukasz Lutostanski, of Poland, Jack Hillmeyer, of the US, and Christiane Hullmann, from Germany.

The service ended with a rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem and God Save The King.

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