Nottingham City Council has severed links with Krasnodar in Russia and Minsk in Belarus in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, has written to officials in both cities to explain the decision, taking immediate effect, which is “borne out of our unwillingness to be associated with both the Russian and Belarusian governing bodies and is not a reflection on the people of Minsk or Krasnodar.”
Nottingham and Minsk chose to twin in the late 1950s in part to recognise how Minsk suffered in the Second World War, when over 90% of the city was destroyed.
The twinning agreement came at a time when there was a fear of a nuclear war between the USSR and the west. Nottingham played a significant role in bringing relief and help to the children of Minsk who were poisoned by the nuclear fallout from the accident in Chernobyl.
Both Krasnodar and Nottingham are twinned with Karslruhe which led to initial connections between the cities before this was formalised as a twinning arrangement in 2010. The aim behind the agreement was for the cities to discuss and explore any economic, cultural and civic benefits.
The council hasn’t had active links with Minsk or Krasnodar for many years, but the twinning agreements have remained in place and some community connections and exchanges have continued over the years. The only active twinning arrangements Nottingham currently has in place are with Karlsruhe and Ningbo.