Russia-Ukraine tensions: Moscow will face ‘protracted crisis’ if invasion goes ahead, Johnson and Biden warn

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Any incursion into Ukraine would result in a “protracted crisis” for Moscow with “far-reaching damage for both Russia and the world”, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden have warned.

In a call between the prime minister and the US president, the leaders called on Western allies to “remain united in the face of Russian threats”.

According to a Downing Street readout of their conversation, the pair agreed there would be a “significant package of sanctions should Russian aggression escalate”.

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‘Get Nord Stream out of the bloodstream’

A spokesperson said Mr Johnson and Mr Biden also reiterated the need for European countries to reduce their dependence on Russian gas “a move which, more than any other, would strike at the heart of Russia’s strategic interests”.

But they also said there remained a “crucial window for diplomacy” with Russia and for Moscow to “step back from its threats” towards Ukraine.

The call comes after Mr Johnson said there is “pretty clear” evidence that Russia is planning an invasion.

He has warned that a Russian assault could be launched within 48 hours, describing it as a “very, very dangerous and difficult situation” which has left the world “on the edge of a precipice”.

But he added there was “still time” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “step back”.

Read more:
Putin decision on whether to invade is ‘imminent’, West believes

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss earlier chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee to discuss the crisis, with the PM due to lead another such meeting on Tuesday.

“We’re very clear there could be an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Ms Truss said after Monday’s meeting.

“Our first priority is protecting British citizens – British citizens need to leave now while commercial routes are still available.

“Our focus is on prioritising the safety and security of British nationals in Ukraine.”

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