THIS month I have been on another visit to Ukraine, this time to meet with a number of influential organisations and officials in the country’s military industry and government.
This included a number of extremely productive meetings with: Herman Smetanin, head of Ukroboronprom; Sergii Boyev, deputy minister for strategic industries responsible for European integration; Alexander Kamyshin, minister for strategic industries of Ukraine, and Oleksandr Zavitnevych, chair of the parliamentary committee on national security, defence and intelligence. We discussed closer collaboration between UK and Ukrainian defence companies to support the war effort.
I also had the opportunity to discuss military procurement cooperation with the Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov, and the continuing support our nation will provide for Ukraine going forward.
On this trip I was able to visit the Ukrainian frontline and was honoured be able to speak to some of the troops and see such high morale among the soldiers.
Many of them were trained in the UK and it was great to see British kit and equipment in action, such as the AS-90 self-propelled artillery from my son’s Army unit.
Back in the UK I also had my opportunity to show my support for Ukraine during the National Flag Day and Ukrainian Independence Day, on which my office hung the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the gallant Ukrainian people.
I was also invited to a BBQ at the Ukrainian refugee hub at St Andrew’s Church in Avonmouth, organised by the Bristol Rapid Relief Team, who did a fantastic job delivering a great event for the Ukrainian refugees in our area.
Other visits in the local area in the past month included my visit to the Patchway Men’s Shed where we discussed how they help the local community including schools and community groups.
I also had a great visit to the Bristol Academy of the Military Preparation College for Training where I met some aspiring learners hoping to become Armed Forces recruits and had a good discussion with them hearing how they are supported as young people to join the military.
Additionally, due to many issues raised by constituents in Stoke Gifford, including anti-social behaviour, e-scooters and graffiti, I held a meeting with our Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford and Stoke Gifford councillors Neel Das Gupta and Keith Cranney.
I also had the opportunity to visit some great community event, including the South Gloucestershire Show, where I met with Jackie & Anna from the Staple Hill branch of the Royal British Legion and got to see some of the products of our agricultural industry in South Gloucestershire.
I also visited the 60th Winterbourne Down and District Horticultural Society annual show, which had some fantastic displays.
As always, should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.
Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at email@example.com if I can be of assistance or to book a surgery.