Britain set to impose sanctions on Russia

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The package would target “those complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” after Russian troops were ordered to enter the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, reports Asian Lite News

Boris Johnson is set to chair a meeting of the UK’s emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday to sign off a package of sanctions against Russia after its military occupation of the two breakaway states in eastern Ukraine.

The package would target “those complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” after Russian troops were ordered to enter the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk for the first time overnight.

Downing St said that Johnson would hold the emergency meeting to discuss the rapidly unfolding crisis – and to agree what a spokesperson said was “a significant package of sanctions to be introduced immediately”.

That came after Johnson held an evening call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and gave him an indication on how the UK would help Kyiv, without resorting to direct military intervention.

Pic credits IANS

The UK has been in close discussions with the EU and the US about launching coordinated sanctions packages in a final attempt to deter Russia from invading. It was not immediately clear how far the net would be drawn.

On Tuesday night, Foreign Office sources were indicating that the sanctions package that would be announced on Tuesday would be a first step, with further measures introduced if Russia invaded Ukraine.

The late night moves came as the Ukraine crisis intensified after Vladimir Putin said he would formally recognise Donetsk and Luhansk. Shortly after, the Russian president announced he was ordering troops to the region on what he described as a “peacekeeping mission”.

Boris slams Putin’s move  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday slammed Russia’s recognition of separatist republics as “a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of the Ukraine”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the independence of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine is “a repudiation of the Minsk process and the Minsk agreements,” Johnson said, referring to a faltering Ukraine peace deal.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Putin’s move “signals an end to the Minsk process and is a violation of the United Nations Charter.

“We will not allow Russia’s violation of its international commitments to go unpunished,” Truss tweeted.

Speaking at Downing Street, Johnson said that “the UK will continue to do everything we can to stand by the people of Ukraine with a very robust package of sanctions.”

“They will be triggered with the first toecap of a Russian incursion or Russian invasion. But plainly what has happened is extremely bad news.

“We will be urgently talking to our friends and allies around the world, all of whom are jointly signed up with us in this package of sanctions.”

“It is becoming clear that we’re going to need to start applying as much pressure as we possibly can because it is hard to see how this situation improves,” Johnson said, adding that he would call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Putin’s move could ignite a potentially devastating conflict with Kyiv’s Western-backed government.

The recognition will effectively end the already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict in Ukraine’s east.

It paves the way for Russia to move in troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in the regions who have been granted Russian passports.

It overshadowed last-ditch diplomatic attempts to ease weeks of tensions over fears Russia has been planning an all-out invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.

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