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Russian Consulate in Edinburgh: Council tells diplomats to leave until ‘illegal’ war is stopped

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Russia’s ambassador to the UK has been told his country’s consulate is no longer welcome in Edinburgh.

In a letter to Andrei Kelin on Friday, Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey told him the consulate was “no longer welcome in Edinburgh until Russia stops this illegal war and Russian troops leave Ukrainian soil”.

The warning comes after the council voted to condemn the war and made Ukraine’s president and Kyiv’s mayor the city’s freemen last month.

In his letter, Mr McVey said Edinburgh was ‘not an enemy of the Russian people’ and ‘we recognize the courageous actions of the Russian people who have expressed their opposition to this war at great expense at the hands of their own government in Moscow.

He added: “We are witnessing the actions of the government you represent and the killing of brave Ukrainian civilians and soldiers – which will be investigated as war crimes in due course.

Street art in support of Ukraine in Leith, Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts go out to the people of Ukraine who are resisting the illegal and senseless war of the Russian government.

“Until Russia withdraws from Ukraine, I reaffirm that we will not accept any invitation or civic collaboration of any kind and I ask you to immediately withdraw the consul from our city.

“They are not welcome in Edinburgh.”

When Russia ordered its troops into Ukraine, protesters gathered outside the consulate in Edinburgh’s New Town and chanted “Glory to Ukraine”.

The council flew a Ukrainian flag over the city chambers in a show of solidarity with the beleaguered country.

The council said it was also supporting aid efforts in Poland and Ukraine and helping refugees settle into their new lives, with £100,000 earmarked for the cause.