The Prime Minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “completely torn up international law” by his actions in Ukraine and there will now be an “immediate package of economic sanctions”
He added: “I’m afraid all the evidence is that President Putin is indeed bent on a full scale invasion of the Ukraine, the overrunning, the subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country and I think, let’s be absolutely clear, that will be absolutely catastrophic.”
Ukraine conflict: Boris Johnson leads emergency meeting in response to crisis as…
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, after recognizing them as independent states.
Footage released overnight appeared to show Russian military vehicles heading towards the Ukrainian border.
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Last updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 11:30
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The UK’s ambassador at the UN Security Council Dame Barbara Woodward, said Russia has “brought us to the brink”, warning that the country’s actions “will have severe and far-reaching consequences”.
She said an invasion would unleash “the forces of war, death and destruction” on the people of Ukraine.
“The humanitarian impact will be terrible on civilians fleeing the fighting. We know that women and children will suffer most,” she added.
She said the Security Council must be united in calling on Russia to “de-escalate immediately”, as well as “condemning aggression against a sovereign nation and defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
“Russia has brought us to the brink,” she said. “We urge Russia to step back.”
In a letter sent to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and copied to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and other ministers, national chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) Petro Rewko said it is clear the “window for diplomacy ” has closed.
He said: “As you will be well aware, the scope for prolonged military threats and potential further aggression is very real and the consequent humanitarian disaster would be unimaginable.
“History shows us that Russia’s invading forces will have no regard to the safety and human rights of the civilian population, that the death toll will be significant, and that war crimes will be committed.”
He added: “We believe that it is time for the UK Government and its Nato partners to act without further delay, as Russia is intensifying its war against Ukraine now.”
“As we speak, there’s a meeting taking place in Brussels now with senior officials to discuss and debate these things.”
The time has come for the EU to impose sanctions on Russia, the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister said.
Simon Coveney said the actions of Russia and the recent comments by Mr Putin on Ukrainian sovereignty were a “signal of intent”.
“And unless Europe and the US and the UK and others respond, I think, clearly and firmly and in a united way, then I don’t think there will be a deterrent for Russia to stop there.”
He said discussions were ongoing in the EU over what form sanctions would take.
Cabinet minister Sajid Javid compared the Ukraine situation to the Cuban Missile Crisis at the height of the Cold War.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I do think it’s as serious a situation as that. There is still an opportunity here for President (Vladimir) Putin to step back, despite him having now chosen confrontation over dialogue. It is not to late for him to step back and bring his troops back into Russia and open dialogue.
“But we have to be realistic – clearly that does not seem his intent, certainly at this point in time, and we have to respond very significantly.
“This is a real test for the West as well.”
Ukraine is not a member of Nato, but Mr Javid made it clear that if Russia does carry on and invades one of the alliance’s eastern states, then there will be war.
“If the territorial integrity of a single Nato member is violated then that is tantamount to declaring war on every member of Nato.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.