Ukraine crisis: Johnson urges unity from Western allies


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Germany today for discussions with European allies amid increasing concern about the likelihood of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“There is still a chance to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but it will require an overwhelming display of western solidarity beyond anything we have seen in recent history,” Johnson said ahead of his travel to Germany.

“Allies need to speak with one voice to stress to President Putin the high price he will pay for any further Russian invasion of Ukraine. Diplomacy can still prevail.”

“That is the message I will take to Munich today as we redouble our efforts to prevent a grave miscalculation which would devastate Ukraine, Russia and the rest of Europe,” Johnson added.

This week the build-up of forces has continued despite Russian claims to the contrary, with 7,000 more troops arriving on Ukraine’s border in recent days. The UK and other allies have warned that military action could take place at any moment and without warning.

Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger (R) talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the 58th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Lu Yang/IANS)

At the Munich Security Conference PM Johnson will deliver a speech calling on allies to stay united in the face of Russian hostility. He will remind partners that, while there is still time to persuade President Putin to stand down Russian troops, the only prospect for this is if the western world speaks with one voice to dissuade and deter.

While in Munich, the Johnson will also meet a number of European partners to discuss the current response. In recent days the Prime Minister has spoken to the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Japan, Australia and elsewhere about the ongoing crisis.

The Munich Security Conference is the world’s largest annual gathering of international leaders and foreign policy experts. When the Prime Minister addressed the conference last year he warned that countries like Russia who seek to act with ‘reckless abandon’ to harm our people must be met with the ‘immovable rock of trans-Atlantic solidarity’.

One year on, the Prime Minister will reiterate that message both in his speech to the conference and in meetings with world leaders.

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