The Government of the Virgin Islands Expresses Concern
Over the Conflict Between Ukraine and Russia
February 28, 2022
The Government of the Virgin Islands continues to monitor, with immense concern, the situation in Europe in regards to the ongoing conflict involving Ukraine and Russia and the global community, which situation continues to evolve and escalate. We in the Virgin Islands pray for the safety of all the people who are innocently caught in the middle of this conflict. We hope for a speedy resolution, and for peace and good sense to prevail. In the modern civilized world, sovereignty, the right of people to self-determination, and the principles of international law must all be respected.
In addition to our concern that this conflict will cause and increase human suffering, we are also mindful that there are economic impacts - which are already showing and which will get worse – as well as social implications, which will ripple around the world. Leaders in some large economies are already cautioning their citizens to brace for tough times. Coming on the heels of the August floods and hurricanes of 2017 and more recently COVID-19, the possibility of war makes it important for us to be prepared for any disruptions that can be felt here.
At home, residents are urged to be mindful of these impacts and how they may disrupt our local industries and economy, which depend on international travel, commerce and trade. We must be vigilant and further strengthen our resilience through, for instance, pushing our transition to sustainable energy and assuring our food security. The Government of the Virgin Islands has already implemented measures to support development in these areas, and residents are encouraged to access these facilities so that we can bolster our resilience.
Residents would no doubt be aware that various countries have issued sanctions against Russia. Sanctions issued by the U.K. against Russia apply in the Virgin Islands in the same form and rigor as in the U.K. itself. As such, participants in our financial services sector are being kept abreast of these sanctions and all updates to the consolidated list of sanctioned persons and entities. Where any requests for international cooperation is received, we also stand ready to execute these, such as where sharing of beneficial ownership information with overseas law enforcement can be facilitated in a little as one hour, if requested, under the Exchange of Notes with the United Kingdom Government.
Virgin Islanders who are still in Ukraine and trying to get out should register with the British Embassy in Ukraine or the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine. Any Virgin Islanders who have already left Ukraine via other countries, such as Poland, but need assistance to get out of that country, should contact the British Embassy in the country where they are or the British Embassy nearest to them. The Government of the Virgin Islands will, of course, work with the FCDO to get our people the help they need.
Should it become necessary for any further measures to be taken to protect the local economy and the social wellbeing of our people, Virgin Islanders and residents can be assured that the Government of the Virgin Islands will be prompt and decisive in our actions.
In the name of our God, we pray for peace throughout the world.