It is not enough for the international community to simply express support for Kyiv without action, Boris Johnson has said, as he unveils a six-point plan which he hopes will ensure Russia fails in its “horrific” invasion of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister said that “it is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge” over how the world reacts to Vladimir Putin’s “hideous, barbarous assault”.
Ahead of a swathe of meetings in coming days, Mr Johnson said: “Putin must fail and must be seen to fail in this act of aggression.
“It is not enough to express our support for the rules-based international order – we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by military force.”
Mr Johnson is set to call on his counterparts worldwide to make a “renewed and concerted effort” to tackle Mr Putin, No 10 said.
Already, 141 nations have denounced the Kremlin’s actions at an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.
Some 38 countries, coordinated by the UK, have also led the largest-ever referral to the International Criminal Court.
But Mr Johnson is set to tell leaders, in an essay in the New York Times on Sunday, that the international community must come together under a six-point plan to keep the pressure on.
The Prime Minister will call on leaders to mobilize an “international humanitarian coalition” for Ukraine and support the country “in its efforts to provide for its own self-defence”.
The economic pressure on the Kremlin should be ratcheted up, Mr Johnson will say, and he will add that leaders must resist the “creeping normalisation” of what Russia is doing in Ukraine.
Mr Johnson will also say that while diplomatic paths to resolving the war must be pursued, this could only be done with the full participation of the “legitimate Government of Ukraine”.
He will add that there also needs to be a “rapid campaign to strengthen security and resilience across the Euro-Atlantic area”.
The PM will hammer home his message when he meets with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte at Downing Street on Monday.
Then on Tuesday, Mr Johnson will host leaders of the V4 group of central European nations – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
No 10 said it was these countries that are already facing the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion, as the number of people fleeing Ukraine reached 1.4 million in just 10 days.
“The world is watching,” Mr Johnson added.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said the opposition “fully supports the UK playing its part in the united, international effort to provide military, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine alongside our allies and partners in Nato and beyond”.
He said: “We support an immediate ceasefire, and the full and complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.”
Mr Lammy said: “The Putin regime’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is a heinous attack not only on the Ukrainian people, but also on the values of sovereignty, democracy, freedom and the rule of law we all share.”
But he added: “At home, the UK government must move faster and harder to impose sanctions on the oligarchs and politicians linked to the rogue Russian regime.
“It is inexcusable that we have fallen behind the EU and the US on the number of individuals and entities sanctioned. Ministers must move faster, acting against Putin’s cronies in days not months.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.