OXFORD CITY council has ended its twinning agreement with Perm until Russia stops war with Ukraine. 

The council has clarified its position on the matter following confusion over whether the separation was a permanent or temporary step.  

The city council announced that it was ending it’s link with the Russian city in a U-turn at the beginning of the month.


Prior to cutting its Russian ties, the city council defended the twinning agreement which has been in place since 1995.

Lord mayor of Oxford Mark Lygo said twinning is “not about world politics” but is “about building friendships between community groups in cities and towns that last well beyond governments, changes in politics and even wars”.

He added: “Another of our valued twinning relationships is between Oxford and the city of Wroclaw, Poland. This connection is enabling us to facilitate support for the many Ukranian refugees who have fled to the safety of neighbouring Poland; we are proud to assist Wroclaw in its efforts.

“People are the real cost of any war and we continue to care about our friends in Perm. Many of Perm’s citizens have been arrested for protesting against the war in the last few days and the Perm Region has suffered particular repression from Putin’s regime”.

The move left Ukrainians living in Oxford disappointed, with some feeling the council’s defence of the link in light of Russia’s invasion was “completely unacceptable”.

Artur Doshchyn, a Ukrainian based in Oxford, told the Oxford Mail the city needed to cut its ties with Perm.

He said: “Russia has a fascist campaign, and we need to take a stand. It is like saying we would still twin ourselves to Nazi Germany’s campaign.”

As tensions rose about the continued link, an act of vandalism saw the Russian city’s name struck off Oxford’s welcome sign in black tape.

On March 4, the city council bowed to public pressure and announced it would sever its ties with the Russian city.

Following the U-turn, questions were raised about whether the move would become permanent rather than a temporary measure.   

On Tuesday evening, leader of Oxford city council Susan Brown tweeted “@OxfordCity have officially ended our twinning with Perm” in response to a photograph of Oxford’s welcome sign.  

A spokesperson for Oxford City Council has since clarified that the twinning agreement has ended until Russia ceases its invasion of Ukraine.

The spokesperson said: “The way we have phrased this is that we have officially ended our twinning with Perm until such time as Russia’s breaches of international law cease.”


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