Exeter City Council suspends links with Russian twin town

Exeter Ukraine vigil
Credit: ITV News

Exeter City Council has voted unanimously to suspend civic links with its twin town in Russia.

Council leader Phil Bialyk - who is of Ukrainian heritage - put forward the motion for links to be severed with Yaroslavl following the Russian invasion.

He will also write to the Ukrainian Ambassador offering Exeter's support. 

Council leader Cllr Phil Bialyk has family in Ukraine. Credit: ITV News

Yaroslavl is 160 miles north-east of Moscow and was formally twinned with Exeter in 1990.

Since then the two areas have held exchange trips every other year.

Last week Cllr Bialyk said: "I cannot stand quietly by and do nothing and so I wish to raise an urgent item for consideration at this evening’s meeting relating to the city’s on-going relationship with its Russian twinned city of Yaroslavl.

"I have thought long and hard about this, particularly bearing in mind the friendship and good relationships we have enjoyed with the people in Yaroslavl.

"However, I cannot condone the actions of the Russian government."

Plymouth City Council confirmed last week its twinned link with the Russian city of Novorossiysk will not be revoked.

It comes as the British public are to be asked to house Ukrainian refugees.