UK's Johnson warns of 'protracted crisis' in Ukraine
Britain on Tuesday warned of a "protracted crisis" in Ukraine, after Russia recognised the independence of two separatist regions in Ukraine and ordered troops in.
"We cannot tell what will happen in the days ahead," Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament after announcing sanctions against five Russian banks and three oligarchs. "But... we should steel ourselves for a protracted crisis."
While Russia's troop movements were still not clear, leaders in Asia and elsewhere voiced strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty, along with worries about how a European war could hurt global and local economies and endanger foreign nationals trapped in Ukraine.
With an estimated 150,000 Russian troops massed on three sides of Ukraine, the U.S. has warned that Moscow has already decided to invade. Still, President Joe Biden and Putin tentatively agreed to a meeting brokered by French President Emmanuel Macron in a last-ditch effort to avoid war.
If Russia moves in, the meeting will be off.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of supporting the separatists with arms and troops, but Moscow has denied that, saying that Russians who fought there were volunteers.