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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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This morning, much of the world woke up to chilling news that Russia had invaded Ukraine. And tonight, the world faces the specter of an all-out war in Europe, while millions of people around the world are wondering how the conflict would affect their lives.

And it's just the same in Belize - where we have our own territorial dispute - and citizens are very sensitive to unprovoked aggression by a large neighbor towards a small one.

Today in San Pedro, Prime Minister John Briceno lamented the invasion - and discussed how it will affect Belize as the harsh economic penalties against Russia reverberate worldwide:

Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister
"It's unfortunate that Russia would do such thing, we've been hearing the news over and over for some time that they would do so and we were hoping that it would not happen, that diplomacy would prevail but obviously it did not. How it's going to affect us, well you know already the price of fuel, and the price continues to go up. As it is right now, it's over $100 per barrel and for us as a country, the taxes that we collect on the price of fuel has been going down. Before we got into government it was approximately about 48% of the price, now we're down to about 38%. Today in Cabinet, we're having a retreat this afternoon and all day tomorrow and that is going to b e one of the important topics for us to discuss. There was a shipment that came in this week, a few days ago, and diesel would have gone up by about a dollar at the pump and when I spoke to the FinSec, I said, I simply don't see how we can absorb that so on this shipment alone we decided that the government is going to absorb that cost. It's going to cost the government approximately a million and a half dollars. Within the next week or two, more fuel will come so now we have to sit down as Cabinet to decide what we can do because as I pointed out before, fuel brings in about $150 million in revenues for the government and we simply just can't afford not to collect those taxes."

Courtney Menzies
"Sir some people are saying that this might be the start of a full blown war, what else can Belize expect? Apart from the price of gas, can we expect the prices of commodities to go up?"

Hon. John Briceno
"As I mentioned yesterday, we import pretty much most of our food and so it's bad news for Belize especially for small countries like us. Already the stock market has taken a big hit, this morning we saw on TV. So let's hope and pray better head prevail and maybe Russia can find a way to deescalate quickly."

But a rapid de-escalation does not appear likely at this hour: The latest news from Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky is that Russian sabotage groups have entered the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

It is a deepening and worrying world crisis, and later in the news we'll have perspective from Marianne Van Steen, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Belize who is currently on an official visit to Belize.

Channel 7

Russia Invades Ukraine; the Implications in Belize

Overnight, Russia invaded Ukraine, the second largest country by area in Europe with a population of over forty million. Explosions were heard and could have been seen in the distance as a full on attack ensued. World leaders have been aware of the tensions between both countries and some are supplying Ukraine with firearms and ammunition to defend itself against the Russian attack. And if you think that Belize is far removed from what's happening, think again. There are rippling effects for small countries like Belize that are dependent on imports. Today, Prime Minister John Brice´┐Żo spoke of the unfortunate attack that in some quarters is being described as a full-fledged war.

Prime Minister John Brice´┐Żo

"It is unfortunate that Russia would do such thing. We have been hearing on the news over and over for some time that they would do so. We were hoping that they would not do so, that diplomacy would prevail, but obviously it did not. How it is going to affect us, you know already the price of fuel continues to go up. As it is right now, it is over a hundred dollars per barrel. As I mentioned yesterday; we import pretty much most of our food and so it's bad news for Belize, especially for small countries like us. Already the stock market has taken a big hit, as we saw this morning on TV. So let's hope and pray that better heads prevail and that maybe Russia can find a way to deescalate very quickly."

Early this morning Belize's Leader of the Opposition, Moses "Shyne" Barrow issued a statement saying the Opposition vehemently condemns the Russian invasion and calls on NATO and the United Nations to take whatever actions are necessary to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden today announced that it will impose sanctions against Russia, saying it is a flagrant violation of international law.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline

Statement by the Government of Belize on the Illegal Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Belize roundly condemns Russia's unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a blatant breach of international law and of its obligations under the United Nations Charter. It also constitutes an unacceptable violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia's actions are an assault on the international system itself and cannot be countenanced by any peace-loving state.

Belize calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of all Russian troops and military hardware from Ukraine and urges all sides to exercise restraint.

Belize regards Russia's recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk as a violation of international law. Belize does not recognize the so-called Donetsk People's Republic or the so-called Luhansk People's Republic.

We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people who are enduring the horrors of war.

Belize is resolute that all states must respect and adhere to norms and principles of international law which are fundamental to the maintenance of the international system and peace and security, including respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders, non-interference in the internal affairs of another state, and the prohibition on the threat or use of force and peaceful resolution of disputes.

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