Javid Warns Putin A Russian "Toecap" In Nato Territory Would Mean War
Sajid Javid has warned Moscow that any military encroachment into Nato territory would be tantamount to declaring war on the western alliance and provoke a "significant" response.
The health secretary on Monday morning told Sky News that even if "a single toecap of a Russian soldier steps into Nato territory" then Russia will have initiated a wider war.
Javid was responding to host Kay Burley's question about a Russian missile strike on Yavoriv International Centre for Peacekeeping and Security over the weekend, killing 35. The Ukrainian military base is just 15 miles from the country's country with Nato member Poland.
“We’ve been very clear, even before the war started, if there is an attack on a Nato country, even if a single toecap of a Russian solider steps into NATO territory, then it will be war with Nato and Nato would respond, and that hasn’t changed throughout this conflict," he told Sky News.
"There would be a significant response from Nato if there was any kind of attack from Russia".
Javid said he would not "get into a hypothetical situation" about how the UK and other Nato states would respond to Vladimir Putin deploying chemical weapons against Ukrainians, which intelligence officials now believe is a possibility. Last week minister Chris Philip warned Putin that doing so would prompt a "dramatic increased response" from the west.
Javid said the UK spelling out its response in advance would give "enemy" Russia an advantage.
“To be perfectly frank," he told Sky News' Burley, "It’s never helpful for us to set out in advance what we may or may not do in such a situation."
He added: "We wouldn’t want to tell the enemy what the response might be, that wouldn’t make any sense. But our message has been very clear from the start: any kind of attack that touches Nato territory or impacts Nato in any significant way, we would respond to.”
This morning Javid announced that 21 Ukrainian children had succesfully arrived in the UK to receive life-saving cancer treatment via an emergency flight arranged by the government.
"I am proud that the UK is offering life-saving medical care to these Ukrainian children, who have been forced out of their home country by the Russian invasion while undergoing medical treatment," the health secretary said.
"I know that the incredible staff in the NHS will ensure they get the best possible care".
The government also said this morning it would send 500 mobile power generators to Ukraine so essential facilities like hospitals, shelters and water treatment plants can continue to operate in the war-torn country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, responded to for the generators by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Ukraine's ambassador to the UK.
Kwarteng said: "Sending portable electricity generators to Ukraine will help keep essential services running, weaken Putin’s attempts to cripple Ukraine’s power supply, and help support the extraordinarily brave Ukrainian response to the Kremlin’s war-waging."
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