Ukraine conflict will reverberate around the world and 'impact us here in Wales'

Video report by ITV Wales Political Editor Adrian Masters

A Welsh Government Cabinet Minister currently in Ukraine has said the effects from any major conflict in eastern Europe would reverberate around the world and impact us here in Wales.

The temperature in an already tense situation dramatically climbed in the last 24 hours, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he will formally recognise two breakaway areas in Ukraine - Donetsk and Luhansk - a move that has further fuelled tensions with the West amid fears of a Russian invasion.

And Russia's parliament has granted Vladimir Putin permission to use force outside of the country, further fuelling fears of a broader attack on Ukraine.

Wales' Counsel General Mick Antoniw has family ties to Ukraine and is there in a personal capacity.

He told ITV Wales: "People are saying they're really grateful that we're in Ukraine. When some of the assemblies started sending all their people out, they felt like they were being abandoned. Ukrainians have a traditional recognition of how it is to be abandoned when international issues arise.

"They're able to tell us what is happening, how they're feeling and how important it is that people actually support and recognise the situation here.

"As one person just said earlier 'we are potentially on the brink of a Third World War so it's just so good that you are here so we can talk and tell you about what is happening in this country'."

The UK has hit five Russian banks and three "very high net wealth" individuals with sanctions, after Russia made an incursion into Ukrainian territory.

Boris Johnson is hoping the sanctions can dissuade President Vladimir Putin from launching a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine after he moved to recognise two separatist Ukrainian regions as independent.

Mr Antoniw, who is also the Senedd Member for Pontypridd, said Ukrainians are urging the west "to take serious action and serious sanctions taken".

The MS is joined in Kyiv by Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price in an effort to show solidarity with workers and minorities.

For those who may think Mr Antoniw would be better placed focusing on matters closer to home in Pontypridd, he says the events in Ukraine are going to effect "everyone throughout the world and particularly in Europe".

"Ukraine is, in many ways, the front line of a very aggressive Putin. We don't know how far he will go if he's trying to recreate the former boundaries of the Soviet Union with his military capability.

"It will effect us in Wales economically as well as socially.

"When you become a politician, you can sit back in your armchair, you can pontificate and you can talk about wonderful things like international solidarity but I think, at the end of the day, what's important is actually being with people and speaking to them."