Aberdeen has ended its twinning link with a city in Belarus due to the country’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Granite City entered the partnership with Gomel, located close to the country’s south-eastern border, in June 1990.
It is one of 30 places around the world twinned with the second-largest Belarusian city – more than half of which are located in Russia.
Numerous reports have pointed to Gomel as one of the locations where Russian troops have been stationed ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Aberdeen will no longer be tied with Belarus
During today’s budget meeting, finance convenor Ryan Houghton said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has “moved us all”.
He said: “Hundreds of people in the city, as they always do in a time of crisis, have mobilised donations and offered their time to help organisations supporting those affected by Russia’s illegal and thuggish war on Ukraine.
“As a city we have ended funding with our twinning arrangement in Gomel, Belarus and I can also announce a donation of £25,ooo to help assist those arriving from Ukraine arriving as refugees. ”
He said: “Our call is largely symbolic, we must show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and Belarus, who wish to live in free and democratic societies.
“This is one of the few ways available to us in Aberdeen to show such solidarity.”
The Greens also called for support from the UK Government to prepare local authorities such as Aberdeen for a potential influx of refugees from Ukraine.
Aberdeen must be prepared to assist refugees
Mr Ingerson added: “The Home Office really needs to step up to the plate and provide directed funding to Aberdeen City Council, and other local authorities, so that we can assist refugees.
“The invasion of Ukraine is the biggest risk to peace in Europe this century and we must be prepared to assist those fleeing this war.
“So far, support to help refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere, has been woeful. We cannot see a repeat of this with Ukraine.”
More than 100 Aberdeen residents gathered outside Marischal College this weekend to hold a vigil in support of the people of Ukraine.
And over the last few weeks locals have been joining forces to collect care packages to send to the Ukrainian border for refugees.