Putin ‘very likely’ to move to Ukrainian capital

Vladimir Putin is ‘very likely’ to plan a move to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, Foreign Minister Liz Truss told Sky News – as she warned Russia ‘nothing is out of order’ during consideration of new Western sanctions.

Ukrainians demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv

© Reuters
Ukrainians demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv

The UK, US and EU have announced a series of new sanctions against Russia after Mr Putin’s order to send ‘peacekeeping’ troops to two eastern regions of the EU. Ukraine which Moscow has declared “independent” states.

Russia has declared two parts of Ukraine as states

© Sky
Russia has declared two parts of Ukraine as “independent” states

However, calls have been made for Western powers to go further in sanctioning Russia for its actions against its neighbour.

Ukrainians demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv

© Reuters
Ukrainians demonstrate outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv

Ukraine to recruit army reservists aged 18-60 – latest updates

Key developments:

• Ukrainian president calls on army reservists

• The White House says The Biden-Putin summit “is no longer planned”

• US Secretary of State Blinken cancels talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

• Australia, Canada and Japan join other nations in sanctioning Russia

Government sources have spoken of a “phase two” of British sanctions against Russia, which could include energy and defense companies and more action against oligarchs and banks.

How effective will the sanctions be?

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A roundtable of regulators and financial institutions was due to be held in Downing Street on Wednesday to consider further measures.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that more British weapons will be sent to Ukraine.

Lammy: Penalties need to be tougher

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“In light of Russia’s increasingly threatening behaviour, and in line with our previous support, the UK will shortly provide a new package of military support to Ukraine,” the prime minister told the House of Commons. municipalities.

“This will include lethal aid in the form of defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.”

Defense secretary says Putin went ‘full tonto’

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace claimed Mr Putin had gone “full tonto” on Ukraine and suggested the Russian president had left himself “without friends, without alliances”.

In reckless comments as he spoke to serving military personnel on Wednesday, Mr Wallace said: “It’s going to be a busy army.

“Unfortunately, we now have a busy opponent in Putin, who has gone all out.”

The Cabinet Minister, a former officer in the Scots Guards, said his regiment had ‘knocked on the back of Tsar Nicholas I in 1853 in the Crimea’ and ‘can always do it again’.

“Tsar Nicholas I made the same mistake as Putin…he had no friends, no alliances,” he added.

Putin ‘very likely’ to target Kiev

Ms Truss told Sky News’ Kay Burley that a trigger for new sanctions against Moscow would be a “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, Russian forces are surrounding Ukraine, so we don’t know exactly where this would happen,” she said.

“But we will know when we see it and we will react immediately.”

The Foreign Minister warned that Kiev, a city of nearly three million people, was among Mr Putin’s possible targets for conquest.

“We think it’s highly likely that it’s in his plans,” she said.

“This is one of the reasons we have advised UK citizens to get out while commercial flights are still available, as the situation is extremely worrying.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ordered the conscription of military reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 in response to the threat of a Russian incursion.

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Ms Truss said the question of whether Russian troops entered Ukraine was “ambiguous”, after Mr Putin’s order to send forces to the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

“We heard from Putin himself that he was sending troops,” she added. “We don’t have all the evidence yet that this took place.”

This contrasts with the assertion by a fellow minister, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, on Tuesday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine “has begun”.

Truss defends ‘very serious’ UK sanctions

Tory MPs are among those demanding tougher sanctions on Russia, as the government comes under criticism for not going far enough in the first measures announced on Tuesday.

Read more:

Who are the three “Putin cronies” affected by British sanctions?

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However, Ms Truss defended the UK’s ‘very serious package’ and said the measures would ‘inflict pain’ on Mr Putin, his regime and the Russian economy.

“It targets the main oligarchs, we are clear that the sovereign debt cannot be lifted by the Russian government,” the foreign minister said of the current round of sanctions.

“It targets major Russian banks that fund the military and fund Russian government activities.

“But we agree with our international allies that we are going to increase the sanctions, that there will be even more severe sanctions against key oligarchs, against key organizations in Russia, limiting Russia’s access to financial markets, if there is a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which I’m afraid to say…we expect that very much.”

“Nothing on the table” for new sanctions

Ms Truss said ‘nothing was off the table’ when it came to hitting Moscow with new sanctions, as she was asked if Conservative Party donors could be among those targeted.

“We are very clear that nothing is ruled out in terms of who we are targeting, in terms of Russia’s access to UK financial institutions,” she told Sky News.

“We maintain our alliance with our international allies to ensure that we target key people who support and back Putin’s regime…I’m not ruling anything out.”

Asked if any money linked to Russia should be returned by the Tories, Ms Truss said: ‘All donations to the Conservative Party come from people who are on the electoral roll in Britain, these donations are correctly declared.

The Foreign Secretary has confirmed that Mr Johnson was ‘misspoken’ when he told MPs on Tuesday that Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich had already been sanctioned by the UK.

Asked if the billionaire should have been sanctioned, Ms Truss said: ‘I’m not going to go into detail about our future sanctions plans, but nothing is ruled out.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for government action against Moscow to include a crackdown on broadcaster Russia Today.

Ms Truss said it was “an independent decision” for regulator Ofcom, but added it was “certainly true” that Russia Today was “spilling propaganda on behalf of the Kremlin”.

“One of the things the Kremlin does is use disinformation to try to sow discord in the West, and Russia Today is clearly one of them,” she said.

Action against three oligarchs “very little, too late”

Labor Foreign Secretary David Lammy has called on the government to go further with sanctions targeting Mr Putin’s associates.

“What we do know is that there is dirty Russian money in London,” he told Sky News.

“What we do know is that while Vladimir Putin may not care about his own audience, he cares about the money and the wealthy associated with him need to feel uncomfortable. .”

Mr Lammy said Britain’s sanctioning of three oligarchs on Tuesday “feels very little, too late”.

Christi C. Elwood