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Adam Price addresses ‘controversy’ over Ukraine visit after ‘reckless’ criticism

20 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Kiev picture by Elke Wetzig (CC BY-SA 3.0). Inset, Adam Price.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has addressed the “controversy” caused by his visit to Ukraine, saying that he is there “obviously” not there to solve the conflict and had paid for the trip out of his own pocket.

Conservative Senedd Member Gareth Davies had called the visit “reckless” and “dangerous” as Russian forces muster on the country’s border.

Welsh Government Counsel General Mick Antoniw, whose family is from the country, is also part of the Welsh delegation and also travelling in a personal capacity.

But the Foreign Office has advised against all travel to Ukraine and told all British nationals to leave.

MS Gareth Davies said: “This is reckless for a Welsh Gov Minister and the Leader of a Party to not heed strong gov advice and just wade into Ukraine regardless. I hope you get back to Wales safely, but please justify this on return and explain who paid for this dangerous trip.”

But Adam Price later responded to criticism of the trip, saying that he had travelled to Ukraine to show that Wales can reach out in meaningful wzys.

“I see my visit here has caused quite a controversy,” he said. “To clarify, I am here in a personal capacity, paid from my own pocket. I felt I had a choice – to either comment from afar behind a phone or laptop, or come here to connect and understand on a human, meaningful level.

“I am obviously not here to solve the conflict, but I am here to show solidarity in a time where real, meaningful connection with real people means far more than a tweet, a press release or just another soundbite from a politician at home in their comfort zone.

“It’s not going to be a good time to travel here for a long time and Senedd recess provided a window. If we want to see Wales truly connect with the world, then we must reach out in meaningful ways, even if that may feel uncomfortable at times. Mewn Undod Mae Nerth.”

‘Threaten’

Adam Price and Mick Antoniw travelled as part of a delegation including trade union leaders, academics and journalists, who said they wanted to express direct, cross-border solidarity from the UK working class to the Ukrainian working class.

The delegation also includes ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan, NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen, former Labour MEP Julie Ward, journalist Paul Mason, and Greenwich University economist Yuliya Yurchenko.

“With the threat of war rising, there is a concerted campaign of disinformation against Ukraine in the West, some of it aimed at influencing the progressive movements who have traditionally, and correctly, opposed Western military adventures in the Middle East,” a spokesperson for the delegation said.

“To separate truth from propaganda, the delegation will hear evidence from workers from the Donbas in the East of Ukraine, independent trade unions and progressive civil society groups in Kyiv, as well as MPs, academics and territorial defence units training to resist aggression.”

Mick Antoniw said: “In too many of the discussions about the situation in Ukraine it is the people themselves who are being bypassed. We want to listen to what the Ukrainian people say and to show our solidarity with them. We stand by them and their right to determine their own future and to defend their country from Russian aggression and imperialism.

Adam Price said: “The more the Ukrainian people are threatened by Russian aggression and imperialism the more urgent it becomes for socialists, democrats and internationalists to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them – in defence of their right to national self-determination and in defiance of Putin’s warmongering.”

The delegation said that the visit was significant because all the participants are activists in the anti-war left in the UK and, in the case of Mr Antoniw and Mr Mason, participated actively in the Labour left under Jeremy Corbyn.

The group intends to report back to grassroots organisations in Britain, “countering the disinformation campaign being waged by the Kremlin”.

“The presence of two leading Welsh lawmakers reflects the historic ties between Wales and Ukraine, going back to the foundation of Donetsk by Welsh migrants in the 19th century, and the presence of a Ukrainian diaspora in today’s former mining communities,” they said.


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Valerie
Valerie
7 months ago

Should the disinformation being shouted by the West not be investigated as well? There are Russian troops on Russian soil .Maybe, just maybe they feel threatened by us? They suffered more than most in WW2 They have reason to be distrustful.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
7 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

Russia’s suffering was not helped by the mass murdering tyrant stalin’s disastrous insistence on personally overseeing the russian war effort over the heads of all his senior generals. Nor was it helped by the fact that only a couple of years earlier stalin had executed many of russia’s experienced general’s in one of his regular psychopathic purges. Incidentally Ukraine is not threatening russia – its the other way around.

CommonSense
CommonSense
7 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

They’re not just in Russia, are they? There’s loads in Belarus.

Last edited 7 months ago by CommonSense
I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

Folks! Follow the money: it’s about Nordstream 2. The Germans know it, so should you. London and Washington will push this until its blocked or certified.
So, expect this to go on until, say June or some crazy thing happens. In the meantime I am lighting candles for Macron and Scholtz.

Last edited 7 months ago by I.Humphrys
Pyrite
Pyrite
7 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Economics Prof. Michael Hudson (UMKC) has recently written a very good analysis of this.
https://michael-hudson.com/2022/02/americas-real-adversaries-are-its-european-and-other-allies/

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

And the former Warsaw Pact/Eastern Bloc countries suffered under communist oppression for decades. Don’t you think they have reason to be distrustful as well?

The difference is Germany has atoned for its past, yet Russia hasn’t. It is rife with pro-Stalin nostalgia, for Communism and the Soviet Union.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

We should be pleased they are not taking Fat Shanks’ word for it…this is how a stand alone nation behaves…it finds out the truth of a situation for itself…

Last edited 7 months ago by Mab Meirion
Andrew Redman
Andrew Redman
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion
...and in the event of a travel blockade getting back, what then? Hasn't he got enough problems to sort out in Camarthenshire before travelling against the advice of The UK Government? W.hat exactly is he trying to prove? He would be the first to criticise anyone else who ignored safety advice.
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Redman

You can’t be serious…we will get the dogs and cats out first

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

I think young Gareth may need to focus on the local issues of his own patch a touch more as this ‘ visit ‘ is not an issue in our Prestatyn town high st or on the Rhyl to Rhuddlan N55 bus.

R W
R W
7 months ago

I’m sure Gareth Davies will be thrilled to hear that Price and Antoniw paid for the trip from their own pockets!! I wonder if Bozo Johnson and Liz Dross paid for their trips from their own pockets? I doubt it somehow!!

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

Adam Price should be spending is time in wales fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and stop getting involved with British politics this is why people in wales don’t understand Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 this is why we need a Free Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Party that’s only interested in fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Plaid Cymru is afraid of upsetting the English people in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

R W
R W
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

I have to disagree with you on this one Grayham. Wales should not just become an inward looking nation.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Well meant Graham but we all including you – im sure – want an inclusive, outward looking Wales not tied down by the colonial : forner colonial powers and working with other small Nations…..

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Agree, Grayham. Gesture politics at it’s most provincial. Have always argued against this “Wales should be a beacon” -stuff which only gets us laughed at, and Plaid Cymru are masters at this. Will have to wait for a Free Wales Party with no foreign entanglements, whether in England or Timbuktu. In the meantime our poor become poorer………………

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Have just looked at the Gwlad -site. Small though they are, they are really the Party to vote for if you are small c conservative and wish Cymru to prosper.
They are the Free Wales Party. I may even join, which is a big step for me!

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
7 months ago

Sometimes, it is critically important simply to bear witness and report to the world outside what is happening.

Reckless? Possibly. Courageous & principled? Certainly.

Remember: Gareth Jones (journalist) – Wikipedia

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
7 months ago

There’s an important principle of international law operating here – nations cant go around invading other countries, removing their democratically elected govts and installing govt’s more accommodating to their own views, which is what the mafia godfather Putin is seemingly intent on doing in ukraine. PS. whether or not ukraine joins Nato isnt for Vladimir Putin to decide – or boris johnson or joe biden or anyone else outside ukraine. It’s a matter for the people of ukraine to decide through the govt. they elect.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
7 months ago

There’s an important principle of international law operating here – nations cant go around invading other countries, removing their democratically elected govts and installing govt’s more accommodating to their own views, which is what mafia godfather Putin is seemingly intent on doing in ukraine. PS. whether or not ukraine joins Nato isnt for Vladimir Putin to decide or boris johnson or joe biden or anyone else outside ukraine for that matter – It’s a matter for the people of ukraine to decide through the govt. they elect. But given a govt in moscow previously inflicted genocide on ukraine it should… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

Those Welsh Tory hypocrites who call Adam Price’s & Mick Antoniw Ukraine visit reckless are the same who championed Boris Johnson’s eat out for £10 Covid spreader. Who condoned his street parties to celebrate VE day during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that was killing over 1000 a day and brushed aside their Christmas party cheese & wine “gatherings” when families were unable to see their dying loved ones. So if I were Andrew RT Davies, Gareth Davies or any Welsh Tory I’d look at your own conduct before pointing fingers. And Plaid’s Adam Price has stated that he… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Y Cymro
Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

Let’s hope that President Macron can move things in a sensible direction. Mouth Almighty in Downing Street is dangerous in this difficult situation. Meanwhile it’s good that AP and Mr Antoniw are contributing what they can as representatives of smaller nations.

David
David
7 months ago

Did Adam Price check:- The place where you can find, in enormous detail, the truth about what is happening in the civil war conflict zone on a daily basis. That is in the daily reports of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Monitoring Mission.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
7 months ago

Tragically, the UK bears a hefty share of the blame for destroying the rules-based structure of international relations. The second Iraq War was an illegal war of aggression. So was the decapitation of the Libyan government of Gaddafi. The UK has sadly exhausted its credibility in the current crisis. France and Germany have not.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Leigh Richards is right. Ukraine is a Sovereign nation and has the right to join any alliance it sees fit. State Sovereignty is a paramount part of the UN Charter 1945 “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” I think some on the far left including certain members of the Stop the War coalition show total inconsistency when they condemn the West (& rightly so) for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, yet… Read more »

gaynor jones
gaynor jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Stop the War is a bit of a joke is it not?

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