May 23, 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Russian President Vladimir Putin he cannot “threaten” Eastern Europe.

The warning comes at a time when the continent is facing its biggest security crisis in decades.

The prime minister pointed out that if Russia invaded, more military aid could be offered to Ukraine as it engaged in engagements with NATO headquarters in Brussels and its Polish counterpart in Warsaw.

But Mr Johnson made it clear that Britain could not intervene militarily if Ukraine was attacked.

Addressing a military base in Warsaw, the prime minister said: “Britain is providing some defense weapons in the form of anti-tank missiles, we are training Ukrainian troops.”

Boris Johnson has rejected Sir John Major's

“It simply came to our notice then.

“Ukraine is not a part of NATO. What we stand for is the right of Ukraine to want it, just like any other independent country.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, meanwhile, has been in probationary exchanges with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Russia has insisted it has no plans to invade Ukraine, but the NATO alliance is concerned about the deployment of more than 100,000 troops along its border with its neighbor.

Speaking to broadcasters in Warsaw, Mr Johnson said there should be a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

“I think today, February 10, 2022, we are on the brink of an upheaval and things are as dangerous as I have seen them in Europe for so long,” he said.

“It’s up to Vladimir Putin to deviate and reduce tensions, and diplomacy is the way forward.”

In an earlier press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, the prime minister urged Russia to engage in meaningful dialogue because “it is better to start talks now than to be destroyed.” Is”.

Britain has already provided Ukraine with 2,000 anti-tank missiles, body armor, helmets and combat boots, and Mr Johnson indicated he could go further.

Asked if he could allow military support for a coup in Ukraine in the event of an attack, he said: “We will consider what else we can offer.

“The Ukrainians are well-prepared, there are things we have offered, in fact, they don’t need to because they think they already have enough.

“It’s possible, I don’t want to rule it out, but at the moment we think the package is right.

“But I want to emphasize that if this happens and if there is serious bloodshed on Ukrainian soil, it will be a complete catastrophe.”

He later told broadcasters in Warsaw that if Russia invaded Ukraine, “an automatic package of sanctions must be in place”, adding that they should include the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Mr Johnson said intelligence about the possibility of an attack was “serious” but did not believe Mr Putin had decided to take action.

“This is perhaps the most dangerous moment in the next few days as Europe faces its biggest security crisis in decades,” he said.

Britain has put 1,000 troops on standby in the event of a humanitarian crisis in the east if the current formation of Russian troops leads to war.

It has also promised additional assistance to NATO allies, with 350 Royal Marines arriving in Poland on the eve of the Prime Minister’s visit.

Standing with his Polish counterpart Matthews Moravic in Warsaw, Mr Johnson said: “We need to work together now to reduce tensions, reduce tensions and persuade Vladimir Putin to secede.

“We will not accept, Poland and Britain will not accept a world in which a powerful neighbor can bully or attack its neighbors.”

In Moscow, Ms. Truss had a difficult encounter with Mr. Lavrov.

He described the meeting as “a conversation between the deaf and dumb”, but Ms Truss said: “I have not been quiet in my earlier conversations, I have talked to the UK about the current situation and this fact. Presenting the point of view and also the fact that to stop Russia from invading Ukraine, we are also very determined to follow the diplomatic path.

He added: “Russia still has time to end its aggression against Ukraine and move towards diplomacy.

“But NATO is very clear that if this path is not chosen, it will have serious consequences for Russia, Ukraine and the whole of Europe.”

Ms Truss called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the border to reduce tensions.

“There is no doubt that the deployment of more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border is a direct threat to Ukraine,” he said.

There were also “cyber attacks and other attempts to undermine the activities of an independent country.”

“If Russia is serious about diplomacy, it needs to move troops and avoid threats,” she said.

The visit to Moscow was the first by a foreign secretary in four years, while relations between Britain and Russia have been strained by other incidents, including the 2018 Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Symbolizing the cold atmosphere in the talks, Mr Lavrov said “there is no place for ideological views, ultimatums and morals” and accused Ms Truss of not being ready for talks.

Rejecting Ms Truss’s call for troops to be withdrawn, Mr Lavrov said: “The demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Russian soil is regrettable. We do not want to threaten anyone. We are the ones who are in danger. . “

But he indicated that the level of power would decrease once the military exercises were completed, at which point “the West will probably claim that it has forced Russia to reduce tensions.”

Additional reporting by PA Media

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