5.9k Share this
The PM insisted the ‘harder’ the sanctions from the West the ‘faster this thing can be over’ as the gathering kicked off in Brussels.
He suggested that Russia should be prevented from using gold reserves to prop up its economy – and also dismissed a bid to host the 2028 Euro football tournament as ‘beyond satire’.
Ahead of the NATO meeting – being attended by Joe Biden – the premier announced the UK is giving Ukraine 6,000 more missiles and £25million to support its desperate struggle against the Russian invasion.
Boris Johnson (pictured with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, left) insisted the ‘harder’ the sanctions from the West the ‘faster this thing can be over’ as the gathering kicked off in Brussels
The wreckage of a shopping mall in Kyiv yesterday after a Russian missile strike
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the summit in Brussels today
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a broadcast speech in Kyiv
Mr Johnson said this morning: ‘Vladimir Putin is plainly determined to double down on his path of violence and aggression, absolutely brutal the way he’s treating the Ukrainian people.
‘We’ve got to step up, we’ve got to increase our support, we’ve got to tighten the economic vice around Putin, sanctioning more people today as we are.
‘Looking at what we can do to stop Putin using his gold reserves and also doing more to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.’
In an interview before departing for the Belgian capital, Mr Johnson said: ‘There is a huge economic punishment now being visited on the associates of Vladimir Putin. But… we’ve got to go further,’ he told LBC.
‘My message today in NATO will be that there are ways in which the world can continue to intensify the pressure on Putin. And the more we do that now, the more pressure we apply now – particularly on things like gold – I believe the more we can shorten the war, shorten the slaughter in Ukraine.’
On Russia’s bid to host the Euro 2028 football tournament, he said: ‘I think it’s beyond satire that any football organisation no matter how bonkers and you know, driven by lucre they may be, would want to give Russia in the present circumstances the right to host a tournament.’
The UK has already provided thousands of Javelin missiles and Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapons, known as NLAWs. Ukrainian defenders have even been heard yelling ‘God save the Queen!’ as they fire them.
Emmanuel Macron and Turkish president Recip Tayyip Erdogan at the summit today
A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region
The UK will also provide £25million in financial backing to fund Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s armed forces.
The PM and his fellow leaders will discuss longer-term military, diplomatic and humanitarian support amid fears that Kyiv will run out of missiles in two weeks.
Defending forces are using up a weeks’ worth of weapons every 20 hours, and need far more to take the fight to Russia.
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK says Mr Zelensky will ask Nato to provide ‘longer range’ missiles.
‘We have enough weapons to stop tanks immediately when they approach us,’ he said.
‘But to clear out our land we need something with a much greater distance.’
The Ukrainian president last night said that Mr Johnson had given him ‘assurances of his support’ amid fears that France and Germany are backsliding on their own promises.
Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces members train to use an NLAW anti-tank weapon on the outskirts of Kyiv
German chancellor Olaf Scholz told his parliament yesterday: ‘Ukraine can rely on our help. Since the beginning of the war, we have been supplying weapons and imposing sanctions that are second to none.’
But Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, accused the country of ignoring urgent requests for weapons for the last three weeks when ‘every day counts to save the lives of the civilian population’.
Officials in Kyiv say deliveries of defensive kit have ‘slowed to a trickle’.
‘If we don’t sort out the supply issue soon it is going to be a slaughter,’ said Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian World Congress.
‘We are going to have 200,000 members of the territorial defence trying to fight tanks with AK47s. Quite frankly, they will become cannon fodder.
‘The UK has been doing a marvellous job leading the way and there is big kudos to Britain in Kyiv, but more is needed. France and Germany have been problematic… really dragging their feet.’
Mr Scholz struck a cautious tone yesterday on reducing Germany’s energy dependence on Russia.
‘To do this from one day to the next would mean plunging our country and the whole of Europe into a recession,’ he said. ‘Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be in danger. Sanctions should not hurt European states harder than the Russian leadership.’
Meanwhile, the UK’s former defence attache to Moscow claimed yesterday that the Government ignored many warnings that Vladimir Putin would attack.
Retired air commodore Carl Scott, who served from 2011 to 2016, said Russia’s ‘long, dark march to war’ was ignored due to ‘corrupt Russian wealth’ invested in London.
‘We reported the inevitability of conflict in detail, regularly,’ he said in a scathing letter to the Financial Times.
Mr Scott also said that the Kremlin had been ‘greatly emboldened’ by Brexit.
Source: Daily Mail