UK PM says Russian forces pose a 'clear and present danger' to Ukraine

UK PM says Russian forces pose a 'clear and present danger' to Ukraine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Tuesday that Russian forces near the border with Ukraine posed a 'clear and present danger'.
2 min read
01 February, 2022
Vladimir Putin is holding a gun to Ukraine's head in an effort to force a change to the architecture of European security, said Johnson [source: Getty]

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on a trip to Kyiv Tuesday that Russian forces massed on the border represented a "clear and present danger" to Ukraine.

"We see large numbers of troops massing, we see preparations for all kinds of operations that are consistent with an imminent military campaign," Johnson said at a press conference with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The British prime minister said that UK sanctions will be automatically imposed on Russian commercial interests and individuals the moment any incursion into Ukraine takes place. 

"It's vital that in Moscow, they understand that there will be automaticity in the way that we apply these sanctions, so that the minute there is a further incursion into sovereign Ukrainian territory then those sanctions will apply," Johnson told a news conference in Kyiv.

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"We're bringing forward the new legislation [that] will enable us to pinpoint ... strategic commercial interests of Russia in a very direct way, as well as individual Russian commercial interests."

Russia has denied any plans to invade.

"I think that perhaps the single most useful thing we can all do is get over to the Russian public, to citizens in Russia, thinking about this possibility, the reality that the Ukrainian army will fight," Johnson said.

"There are 200,000 men and women under arms in Ukraine, they will put up a very, very fierce and bloody resistance. I think that parents, mothers in Russia should reflect on that fact and I hope very much that President Putin steps back from the path of conflict and that we engage in dialogue." 

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, while denying plans to invade - an action that the United States and its allies have warned would trigger tough sanctions.