May 19, 2022

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London prepares for diplomatic efforts to defuse crisis in Ukraine

Published on 02/13/2022 23:40 / Updated on 02/13/2022 23:42

(Credit: Sergey Sobinsky/AFP)

London, United Kingdom | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make new diplomatic efforts this week to defuse the Ukraine border crisis, the office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday.

The statement came after Britain’s defense minister indicated that some countries are not taking a strong enough stance towards Russia.

Johnson will hold talks with other leaders and is particularly interested in dialogue with the Nordic and Baltic states, according to a statement from his office.

“The crisis on the Ukrainian border has reached a critical point,” a spokesman for the prime minister said in a statement.

“All the information we have indicates that Russia may plan to invade Ukraine at any moment. This will have serious consequences for both Ukraine and Russia,” he added.

The spokesman added that Johnson will work with Britain’s allies to try to get the crisis under control.

Hours earlier, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace commented in comments to the Sunday Times that some Western countries were not strict enough about Moscow.

He also claimed that there was a “Munich smell” in diplomatic efforts to try to calm the crisis, referring to the agreement that allowed Nazi Germany to annex the Sudetenland in 1938, but failed to prevent war.

Wallace is expected to fly to Brussels for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, which begins on Wednesday to address the crisis. Meanwhile, Johnson plans to travel to the European Union at the end of the week.

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Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister visited Kiev to show his support for Ukraine.

The United States confirmed on Sunday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent, after Moscow stationed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and carried out maneuvers in the Black Sea and Belarus.

Russia denies any intentions for war, but calls for an end to NATO’s expansion to the east and the non-acceptance of Ukraine into the Atlantic alliance, which Western countries reject.

Johnson’s diplomatic efforts come at a sensitive time, with voices from his Conservative Party calling for his resignation over the “Party Gateway” scandal.

Johnson is set to respond this week to a police investigation into allegations that some parties held in his Downing Street office violated Covid-19 health restrictions.