DON’T GO IT ALONE: FNM senator supports sanctions on Russia if done as a collective with other nations

DON’T GO IT ALONE: FNM senator supports sanctions on Russia if done as a collective with other nations
(FILE)

Former foreign affairs minister: Impact of sanctions from Bahamas alone would be ‘very negligible’ 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said yesterday that any decision to impose sanctions on Russia amidst the ongoing invasion of Ukraine should be done in concert with CARICOM and other regional partners.

Henfield’s comment comes after the US Embassy in Nassau commended the government of The Bahamas for taking an “independent and forceful” stance against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and encouraged the country to take further action by imposing financial sanctions.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, he said he supports both CARICOM and the government’s decision to act in unison with the United Nations as much as practically possible to do so.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield. (BIS/PATRICK HANNA)

“The Bahamas’ acting in concert with CARICOM as a part of the multilateral forum that we share with CARICOM and the UN, I think that’s the appropriate way to go and I think that’s what the government is doing,” Henfield said.

“If that means, as a collective, there’s a position of sanctions, then that’s fine.

“Something has to be done.

“We are part of a global community which believes in democracy and sovereignty and non-interference, non-intervention.

“For our own part, I think the impact of sanctions will likely be very negligible if we were to do it alone; but in concert with our multilateral partners and allies like CARICOM and others, I think it will be more impactful if we were to go that route.”

On Tuesday, The Bahamas stood in solidarity with 140 countries of the 193-member UN General Assembly in an historic vote on a resolution to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and call on Moscow to immediately withdraw all forces from the country.

But as global superpowers unleashed a litany of sanctions against Russian air and sea transport, businesses and financial transactions, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said the Caribbean Community had taken the position to “sit back and wait” to see whether the UN Security Council (UNSC) would pass a resolution for member states to impose sanctions.

We understand a protracted conflict in Europe is going to negatively impact upon The Bahamas and the international community in ways we do not wish to see at this time.

– Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield

The possibility of a UNSC resolution on Russian sanctions is unlikely, but Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said there are legal provisions that allow The Bahamas to impose sanctions at the request of another state.

While The Bahamas has not received any formal request, Mitchell noted there has been “one informal inquiry from another country”.

Yesterday, Darren said he hopes the Russia-Ukraine conflict does not expand into the rest of Europe.

“We pray for the people of Ukraine. We pray for a speedy end to this conflict,” he said.

“We would not wish to see it expand into Europe further than it is and we hope for peace.

“We understand a protracted conflict in Europe is going to negatively impact upon The Bahamas and the international community in ways we do not wish to see at this time, especially when we’re just coming out of these economic challenges with COVID and Dorian.”

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.

3 comments

Be careful what you do Bahamas. Your Uncle China is Russia’s best friend. Don’t forget who has been funding those projects in the country.

The move was anything but independent and forceful. Do or else is and has been the order of the day when it comes to the foreign powers.

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