Boris Johnson urges Vladimir Putin to step back from ‘edge of precipice’ over Ukraine crisis


Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Vladimir Putin to think again during a visit to Rosyth Dockyard near Edinburgh.

The Prime Minister warned the “evidence is pretty clear” that Russia is planning an invasion and called for Mr Putin to think again.

Speaking to reporters in Scotland, Mr Johnson urged the Russian leader to consider the economic and political consequences if he launched an invasion of Ukraine.

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He said: “This is a very, very dangerous, difficult situation, we are on the edge of a precipice but there is still time for President (Vladimir) Putin to step back.

“What I think all European countries need to do now is to get Nord Stream out of the bloodstream.

“Yank out that hypodermic drip feed of Russian hydrocarbons that is keeping so many European economies going.

“We need to find alternative sources of energy … and get ready to impose some very, very severe economic consequences on Russia.”

The Prime Minister also said his Defense Secretary Ben Wallace was “right to say” that the West must be united against Russian aggression.

Asked if he agreed with Mr Wallace’s claims there was a “whiff of Munich” and appeasement in actions against President Putin so far, Mr Johnson said: “I think the Defense Secretary is absolutely right to say it’s very important that we’ve got to be strong, and we’ve got to be resolute and we’ve got to be united.”

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“I think it is very important that we all stand together and that we show a united front, particularly when it comes to economic sanctions.

“The UK, as you know, has been in the lead in bringing our allies together so that there’s a tough package of sanctions.

“It’s very, very important that the West should stand united, particularly that Nato has done it. It’s been pretty encouraging to see the way countries have pulled together.”

Asked if he would be traveling to Moscow to negotiate with President Putin, Mr Johnson said he would be “doing everything I can to the diplomatic process”.

He said: “I’m going to be doing everything I can to help the diplomatic process. I’ll be talking to various leaders, including Joe Biden, very soon.

“I think it’s very important that we have a conversation, but what we can’t do is trade away the sovereign rights of the Ukrainians who aspire to Nato membership.”

It came in an interview that also saw Mr Johnson insist he was “working very hard” with Scottish colleagues amid an ongoing row with the leader of the Scottish Tories Douglas Ross.

He said: “I’m working very hard with my colleagues in Scotland on our joint agenda of uniting and leveling up, and delivering for the people of the whole UK.

“I think we’re very proud collectively of what the UK Government has done at all levels to get us through Covid very effectively, so that we now have the fastest-growing economy in the G7 last year and this year, plus we’re working together on great projects which we’re able to do such as the free ports and such as investment in Rosyth.”


www.scotsman.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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