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Boris Johnson Asks Countries To Join International Coalition Giving "Unwavering Assistance" To Ukraine

Boris Johnson Asks Countries To Join International Coalition Giving 'Unwavering Assistance' To Ukraine

Boris Johnson held a press conference with his Dutch and Canadian counterparts Mark Rutte and Justin Trudeau

4 min read

Boris Johnson announced the UK is joining a new International Ukraine Support Group to support the country against Russia’s invasion.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that Britain was sending another £175million of aid to Ukraine, bringing the total amount of support announced during the crisis to around £400million.

In a joint press conference with Canadian and Dutch prime ministers Justin Trudeau and Mark Rutte, Johnson said the international community must "mobilise" to support Ukraine "in every way that they can" and praised their "courage and tenacity" in the face of Russian onslaught. 

“Our new international Ukraine support group will coordinate the efforts of the international community to provide long term and unwavering assistance now and in the future, and we will be encouraging more countries to join us," he said. 

“This is the moment for Ukraine's friends to create a coalition of humanitarian economic and defensive military support to ensure that Putin fails.

"We will only succeed if the whole international community moves together with the same spirit of unity we've seen in recent days." 

Trudeau said Canada is imposing new sanctions on 10 individuals in relation to the invasion of Ukraine, which includes “former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of the Russian leadership”.

He said the names of these individuals came from a list compiled by the jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Speaking alongside him, Rutte said the Netherlands was prepared to consider "all possible sanctions”, but added they must not generate "unmanageable risks" to energy supply in Europe.

Johnson was speaking at the start of a week of intense diplomatic efforts with foreign leaders to build a united front against Vladimir Putin.

Having visited a RAF base to meet members of the UK Armed Forces with Trudeau and Rutte, the trio held separate bilaterals and a joint trilateral meeting in Downing Street.

Later this afternoon he will join a call with the leaders of the US, France and Germany, and tomorrow Johnson is welcoming the leaders of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic to Number 10 to discuss the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

Johnson is expected to put more pressure on international counterparts to take further action to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system, after announcing his six-point plan to tackle Vladimir Putin. 

Writing in the New York Times, the prime minister said "it is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge”.

His plan calls on world leaders to mobilise an "international humanitarian coalition”, support for Ukraine "in its efforts to provide for its own self-defence”, and to ratchet up economic pressure on Russia.

He also urged the international community to resist Russia's "creeping normalisation" of its actions in Ukraine, to pursue diplomatic resolutions to the war, but only with the full participation of Ukraine's legitimate government, and a wider campaign to “strengthen security and resilience" among Nato countries.

Earlier Boris Johnson refused to commit to opening a third, more open, humanitarian route for Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK just hours after home secretary Priti Patel appeared to suggest the option.

The prime minister said Britain will have “a system that is very, very generous as the situation in in Ukraine deteriorates”, but defended maintaining immigration controls on those fleeing the Russian invasion.

In an interview with The Sun on Monday Patel said she was “investigating the legal options to create a humanitarian route” for refugees to come to the UK, which would be on top of two existing routes; one for family members of those already here, and a sponsorship scheme currently being set up.

But asked if the government was considering a third route, similar to a scheme in place in the EU, Johnson avoided committing to Patel's suggestion

“What we won't do is have a system where people can come into the UK without any checks or any controls at all. I don't think that is the right approach," he said. 

"But what we will do is have a system that is very, very generous as the situation in in Ukraine deteriorates.

“People are going to want to see this country open our arms to people fleeing persecution, fleeing wars, and I think people who have spare rooms who want to receive people coming from Ukraine or want us to have a system that enables them.”

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