Feb 20 (SkyNews) – Intelligence suggests Russia is planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”, Boris Johnson has warned.
The prime minister said “all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun” – telling the BBC that evidence indicates the Kremlin’s intent is to invade Ukraine and encircle Kyiv.
“People need to understand the sheer cost in human life that could entail – not just for Ukrainians but for Russians,” Mr Johnson said at the Munich security conference.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has also warned that the West needs to stop Moscow in its tracks – and speaking to The Mail on Sunday, expressed fears that Vladimir Putin “will not stop at Ukraine”.
She suggested Russia’s president may move to “turn the clock back to the mid-1990s or even before then” by annexing Baltic states including Estonia and Latvia.
World leaders have gathered in Germany in the hope of reaching a diplomatic solution to ever-worsening geopolitical tensions.
At the security conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the current threat to global security is “more complex and probably higher” than during the Cold War.
And he warned that even a small mistake or miscommunication between major powers could have catastrophic consequences.
Ukraine’s president seeks meeting with Putin
Yesterday, Ukraine’s president called for a meeting with his Russian counterpart in search of a resolution to the crisis.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Kremlin could pick where the talks were held, adding: “I don’t know what the president of the Russian Federation wants, so I am proposing a meeting.”
There has been a sharp spike in violence in and around territory held by Russia-backed rebels, with separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordering a full military mobilisation on Saturday.
Mr Zelenskyy appeared frustrated during the conference in Munich, and urged members of the UN Security Council to meet and draw up new security guarantees for his country.
“The rules that the world agreed on decades ago no longer work. They do not keep up with new threats … This is a cough syrup when you need a coronavirus vaccine,” he warned.