Letter to ambassador

Russian consulate ‘not welcome in Edinburgh’

Russian flag in Melville Street
Russian flag flying outside the Consulate in Melville Street

Russia’s ambassador in London has been told that its Consulate is no longer welcome in Edinburgh.

City council leader Adam McVey has written to Andrei Kelin requesting the withdrawal of the consul “until Russia stops this illegal war and Russian troops leave Ukrainian soil”.

In his letter, Councillor McVey said Edinburgh Council has severed all existing and future engagements with the Russian Consulate in Melville Street until Russia withdraws from Ukraine.

He says the move is a measure against Russia’s war and its ruler – and states that the council does not oppose Russian citizens, many of whom have expressed opposition to their country’s territorial policies.

The council voted last month to condemn the war and made Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, and Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, freemen of the city.

Councillor McVey added: “Until Russia withdraws from Ukraine, I reiterate that we will not be accepting any civic invitations or collaborations of any kind and I ask that you withdraw the consul from our city immediately. They are not welcome in Edinburgh.

“Countless Russians around the world and here in Edinburgh have spoken out against this war – but it isn’t these courageous people of conscience the Russian Consulate or Russian Ambassador stand for. Their offices represent Putin’s tyrannical regime and the horrific war crimes being made against Ukraine.

“Our ties will be severed for as long as this illegal invasion persists and our solidarity will remain with the people of Ukraine, many of whom have fled their home country to seek refuge here in Edinburgh. We will continue to do everything within our power to ensure they feel safe, heard and welcome in our city from the moment they land.”

The council has been flying a Ukrainian flag above the city chambers and said it was supporting aid efforts to Poland and Ukraine as well as helping refugees settle into their new lives.

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