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Firms with offices in Kyiv are ready to take action as Russia crisis intensifies 

By February 24, 2022March 1st, 2022Criminal, Government, Human Rights, Immigration, People

As tensions rise on the Russian border this week, law firms with offices in Ukraine were on elevated alert. It has been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had commanded troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine after identifying them as independent states.

The UK Foreign Office has advised that British nationals currently in Ukraine should exit whilst commercial options are still in place. Following the growing tensions, Air France has become the latest airline to withdraw Ukraine flights as a precautionary measure.

Few UK lawyers or firms are believed to be based in the affected regions, but there are a number of firms who have offices in the capital Kyiv. CMS Cameron McKenna has 40 domestic and internationally qualified lawyers in its Kyiv office, while Baker McKenzie and Dentons also operate from the country.

A spokesperson for Dentons stated this week: ‘We hope for a peaceful resolution to the present crisis situation involving Russia and Ukraine, and our immediate concern is to support our people in this difficult time.

‘Dentons has contingency plans in place to stay in contact with our people and ensure business continuity in case of escalation. At this point, our Kyiv office remains open and fully operational. We are monitoring the situation carefully and have measures in place to ensure we can provide our colleagues in Kiev with any assistance they need.’

The firm also noted: ‘In light of the ongoing situation between Ukraine and Russia, we are closely monitoring developments at all times and are doing everything possible to support our people during these challenging and uncertain circumstances. Their safety and wellbeing is our number one priority and this principle guides everything that we are doing.’

Last week, the Ukrainian Bar Association said that the disputed territories were ‘integral parts’ of Ukraine and all other definitions would be disapproved by the professional legal community.

The statement further detailed: ‘We believe it is necessary to strengthen the sanctions package against Russia and to review the possibility of imposing personal sanctions in the event of recognition by the President of the RF of the occupied territories.

‘The UBA also supports the initiative of the parliament of Ukraine to raise the question of Russia being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

‘UBA stands ready to provide legal assistance and legal advice in the context of relevant proceedings in international courts.’

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