MINISTER of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne said it was disturbing to see a political activist vowing to go to fight in Ukraine against the Russian invasion, as Trinidad and Tobago was still embroiled in challenges over nationals who had left to go and join ISIS to fight in Iraq.
Speaking at a virtual news briefing on free movement within Caricom, he replied to a question about recent reports of UNC activist Brian Stone’s intention to go to Ukraine, saying he was seeking further information on this possible development.
“What I saw was very disturbing for me, cast against the backdrop that we have nationals of this country in the past who went overseas as mercenaries to fight wars in other jurisdictions and that is currently an international conundrum, a nightmare, for some of these individuals and the host countries.”
He did not want to say much more.
“I’ll certainly will not be saying anything to encourage that type of, well, potential grandstanding. All I can do is sound a note of caution for the good sense, welfare and physical well-being of all our nationals and encourage persons not to take bad examples from those who might wish to be reckless, from those who might wish to be on some sort of populist agenda which could put themselves and even our national reputation in jeopardy.”
Browne reiterated that he was seeking more details.
“Nothing that I’ve heard is encouraging or would suggest this is something our citizens should applaud or encourage or motivate in any way, shape or form.”
In response to the February 24 Russian invasion, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed for foreign volunteers to join the International Legion of Defence of Ukraine.