UK will use “all economic and diplomatic tools” if Putin invades Ukraine


he UK will use “all economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal” to prevent any Russian invasion of Ukraine, the prime minister told other world leaders.

Ahead of a key meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Boris Johnson held talks with Biden and other leaders to agree on a “united front”.

In the appeal – which also included Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – the leaders “reaffirmed their strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” said a porte – speech from Downing Street.

Boris Johnson (Christopher Furlong / AP) / PA wire

And they added: “The Prime Minister said the UK will continue to use all economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to prevent any Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“The leaders have agreed to speak again after President Biden’s conversation with President Putin tomorrow. “

The US and Russian leaders are due to speak on Tuesday in a video call amid mounting tensions over the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border – seen as a sign of a potential invasion.

U.S. intelligence officials have said Russia could plan for a possible invasion as early as early next year, while Ukrainian officials have said it could be next month.

A senior official in the Biden administration said Monday that Mr. Biden would respond directly to Mr. Putin’s concerns.

US President Joe Biden (Steve Reigate / Daily Express) / PA wire

He added that the president had agreed with his European counterparts that there was the possibility of imposing “substantial economic countermeasures by the Europeans and the United States which would cause significant and serious economic damage to the Russian economy. , if they chose to proceed “with an invasion. .

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed plans for the long-awaited appeal on Saturday and said it would take place in the evening.

Russia is adamant that the United States should guarantee that Ukraine will not be admitted into the NATO military alliance.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russia annexed Crimea is estimated at 94,300, and warned that a “large-scale escalation” is possible in January.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently accused a group of Russians and Ukrainians of attempting a coup in his country and the plotters tried to get help from Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov.

Russia has denied that a plot is underway, but the Russians have become more explicit recently in their warnings to Ukraine and the United States.

The Prime Minister said the UK will continue to use all economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to prevent any Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The Kremlin said on Friday that Mr Putin, during his call with Mr Biden, would call for binding guarantees preventing NATO expansion in Ukraine.

Mr Biden tried to push back the request in reporters’ comments on Friday before leaving for a weekend at Camp David.

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