The Archbishop of Canterbury has said there must be “no way we force peace” in Ukraine as he warned the West has not “taken on board” that the conflict could drag on for years.
Justin Welby said Russia’s “evil” invasion must not succeed.
During a three-day visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, the Archbishop had to take cover in a bomb shelter when air raid warnings were sounded after Russian bombers were reported to have taken off.
“The people of the West need to realise that the cost of this war… are not short term, we need to be really tough about this.”The Archbishop of Canterbury
He added that Ukraine is the “victim” and urged the West to show “real resilience” and resist anything similar to the carving up of Czechoslovakia to appease Hitler in 1938.
The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary courage in the face of Russia’s illegal, unjust and brutal invasion. Across the church of England we will keep praying for you this Advent and offering our solidarity and support in every way we can.
The Archbishop also said: “I don’t think that the West in general has taken on board that this could go on for a very long time.
“We don’t want it to – we hope and pray it doesn’t, but that’s not within our gift. And this is hugely important, that this takeover does not succeed…
“The West needs, the people of the West need to realise that the cost of this war, in inflation, in all kinds of difficulties – and there’s much suffering in our own country, in the UK, through that – the costs of this are not short term, we need to be really tough about this.”
During his Advent trip to Kyiv, the Archbishop met Ukrainian church leaders, refugees and internally displaced people.
He praised the Ukrainian people for showing “extraordinary courage” in the face of Moscow’s invasion.