Boris Johnson: Russian invasion of Ukraine would 'echo around the world'
He warned against 'underestimating the gravity of this moment'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told world leaders that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would "echo around the world," encouraging Western allies to "stand strong together."
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, the Prime Minister said that the "omens are grim" and that the world needs to be "unflinchingly honest" about the crisis in Ukraine.
"If Ukraine is invaded, the shock will echo around the world, and those echoes will be heard in East Asia, they will be heard in Taiwan," he told the Munich Security Conference.
There are currently more than 130,000 Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian, with US intelligence claiming the number is in fact between 169,000 and 190,000.
He said: "Every time that Western ministers have visited Kyiv, we have assured the people of Ukraine and their leaders that we stand foursquare behind their sovereignty and independence.
"How hollow, how meaningless, how insulting those words would seem, if at the very moment when their sovereignty and independence is imperilled, we simply look away."
"We do not fully know what President Putin intends but the omens are grim."
PM Boris Johnson urges Western allies to "stand strong together" and says they have together come up with the "toughest and strongest package of sanctions".
Live updates: https://t.co/ZkklrhZtHy pic.twitter.com/VbCif8UPaf
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 19, 2022
Johnson added that if Ukraine were to be invaded, it would see the "destruction of a democratic state, a country that has been free for a generation, with a proud history of elections," the BBC reports.
The Prime Minister has insisted that "diplomacy can still prevail." But before travelling to the summit in Munich he admitted that it would take " an overwhelming display of western. solidarity beyond anything we have seen in recent history" in order to avoid "unnecessary bloodshed" in Ukraine.
The message I am taking to @MunSecConf today is that allies must speak with one voice to stress to President Putin the high price he will pay for any further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We need western solidarity to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
Diplomacy can still prevail. pic.twitter.com/ViLkUxlLsR
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 19, 2022
President Putin continues to deny that Russia has any plans to invade the country, with Russia claiming to have pulled some troops back from the border.
But Western powers have made it clear that they are yet to see any evidence of any sort of Russian withdrawal from the border.
US president Joe Biden has said that American intelligence suggests the focus of any Russian invasion would be the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
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