Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK Natalia Galibarenko told Hromadske that the decision to remove the trident, or “tryzub”, the Ukrainian coat of arms, from the anti-terrorist manual was made by the British police after a meeting with the functionaries of the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK.
Galibarenko also said that the embassy learned about the fact that the trident was included in the list by the counter-terrorism unit of the British police from the Ukrainians that were messaging the embassy on social media.
“We began to receive inquiries from Ukrainians with a request to sort it out… We made respective consultations with the [British] Foreign Office first. Then we met directly with the police to explain the situation and the status of the trident in order to get it removed from the publication,” Galibarenko commented.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine did work both publicly and behind the scenes. And the Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ukraine, MP John Whittingdale, raised the trident issue before a minister during the question time in the parliament.
On January 19, the British government expressed its regret at the incident.
"We can say that the statement was an apology for what happened. But during our contacts, we made it clear that it's good that they apologized, but that is only half the battle. The main thing from the beginning is not only to apologize and admit the mistake but also to remove the trident from this guide. And we had our contacts and contacts on the British side, in particular, there was a very important direct meeting with the police. They listened to us and after internal consultations, a decision was made,” Galibarenko said, adding that the decision "suits the Ukrainian side".
According to Ukraine's ambassador to the UK, the inclusion of trident, as well as symbols of organizations such as Greenpeace, on the list raises questions.
“This guide was created by the U.K.'s Special Services. And it is clear that they did not consult with anyone. The official explanation of the police is that allegedly national symbols and symbols of different organizations can be misused by right-wing forces.”
/By Oleh Pavliuk
/Translated by Vladyslav Kudryk