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Saturday, 13 August 2022
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Boris Johnson to call Putin and visit Eastern Europe
Boris Johnson-UK

The BBC reported that Boris Johnson will telephone Russian President Vladimir Putin and visit Eastern Europe in the coming days as the UK steps up its diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine border crisis.

No 10 said the PM would repeat the need for Russia to "engage diplomatically" when he speaks to Mr Putin this week.

No 10 added that he will "reiterate the need for Russia to step back."

The BBC mentioned that Mr Johnson has said the UK could deploy troops to protect Nato allies if Russia invaded Ukraine.

It said that Russia - which has denied it plans to invade Ukraine - has placed about 100,00 troops, tanks, artillery and missiles on Ukraine's border.

It is the first time since World War Two that Russia has moved troops from the east of the country to the Ukraine border.

Vladimir Putin: Image credit Russian Embassy in India Facebook page
Vladimir Putin: Image credit Russian Embassy in India Facebook page

The Russian Embassy in the UK said that as well as Mr Johnson's visit to the region, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will visit Moscow in the next two weeks.

Mr Johnson has asked military and security chiefs to give him more options to mitigate against what Downing Street has called "growing Russian aggression".

UK sanctions against Vladimir Putin not ruled out if Russia invades Ukraine

This weekend, the prime minister is considering those options - including the deployment of more British troops to Nato countries in the region.

On Monday, the Foreign Office is expected to announce to Parliament a toughening of its sanctions regime, which would enable the UK to target Russian interests.

Last week, Mr Johnson joined a phone call with US President Joe Biden, European leaders and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Sergei Lavrov: Russia does not want war with Ukraine

Downing Street said that during the call, the leaders agreed "that diplomatic talks with Russia remained the first priority."

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The prime minister is determined to accelerate diplomatic efforts and ramp up deterrence to avoid bloodshed in Europe.

"He will reiterate the need for Russia to step back and engage diplomatically when he speaks to President Putin this week."

Source: BBC