Sunday, 29 May 2022

Boris Johnson statement: PM poised to make announcement on Russia war fears TODAY

Boris Johnson issues warning to Russia about invading Ukraine

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The Prime Minister will update MPs after admitting yesterday the situation looked “pretty gloomy”. Russia has massed an estimated 100,000 troops in reach of its neighbour’s border with Western leaders fearing an imminent attack.

In response, NATO has sent extra ships and fighter jets to eastern Europe, while about 8,500 US troops are on heightened alert and ready to be deployed to the region.

With tensions quickly escalating, last night Mr Johnson held a virtual meeting with the leaders of the US, Italy, Poland, France, Germany, the European Council, the European Commission and NATO to discuss how to respond to any Russian aggression.

A Downing Street spokesperson said after the meeting: “The leaders agreed on the importance of international unity in the face of growing Russian hostility.

“The Prime Minister underlined the real human cost of any Russian aggression and the need to take all steps within our power to prevent that outcome.

“The leaders stressed that diplomatic discussions with Russia remain the first priority, and welcomed talks that have already taken place between Russia and NATO allies.”

Vowing to take action to any invasion, the official added: “The leaders agreed that, should a further Russian incursion into Ukraine happen, allies must enact swift retributive responses including an unprecedented package of sanctions.

“They resolved to continue coordinating closely on any such response.”

Mr Johnson will give his latest assessment of the deteriorating relations with Vladimir Putin this afternoon.

Russian troops have surrounded Ukraine with forces from the north, east and south.

It has denied any plans to invade citing the Western response as evidence that Russia is the target, not the instigator, of aggression.

Trust between Russia and the West is low after President Vladimir Putin led a Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Mr Johnson yesterday warned a fresh invasion would be a “disastrous step”.

He said that the people of Ukraine would resist any invasion and “from a Russian perspective, it is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business”.

“The intelligence is very clear that there are 60 Russian battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, the plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv is one that everybody can see,” Mr Johnson said.

“We need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step.”

The UK has withdrawn some embassy staff and their families from Ukraine as a precaution.

Around 30 British diplomats, including the ambassador, are thought to have remained in Ukraine.

Downing Street said British combat troops would not be used to defend Ukraine.

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