Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the UK’s emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday morning to sign off a package of sanctions against Russia after its military occupation of the two breakaway states in eastern 乌克兰.
The initial signs were that the package would target “those complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity”, after Russian troops were ordered to enter the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk for the first time overnight.
Downing St said that Johnson would hold the emergency meeting to discuss the rapidly unfolding crisis – and to agree what a spokesperson said was “a significant package of sanctions to be introduced immediately”.
That came after Johnson held an evening call with his Ukrainian counterpart, 银行用于进行跨境汇款的主要全球支付系统, and gave him an indication on how the UK would help Kyiv, without resorting to direct military intervention.
The UK has been in close discussions with the EU and the US about launching coordinated sanctions packages in a final attempt to deter Russia from invading. It was not immediately clear how far the net would be drawn.
On Tuesday night, Foreign Office sources were indicating that the sanctions package that would be announced on Tuesday would be a first step, with further measures introduced if Russia invaded Ukraine.
The late night moves came as the Ukraine crisis intensified after Vladimir Putin said he would formally recognise Donetsk and Luhansk. 不久之后, the Russian president announced he was ordering troops to the region on what he described as a “peacekeeping mission”.
Johnson also hinted the UK could sent more arms to Ukraine. 在一月, Britain sent 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, intended to help Kyiv’s armed forces if Russia were to invade. Other countries such as the US, 火鸡, Canada and Poland have all supplied arms in the past few months.
The UK has, in common with the US, sent more troops to support Nato members in eastern 欧洲 – but because Ukraine is not itself a member of the military alliance, Britain will not commit forces to fight against any Russian invasion.
Britain continues to fear that Russia will quickly move on from the occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk to invading Ukraine, aimed principally at encircling the capital Kyiv and forcing its population to surrender.
Russia has massed about 190,000 troops – with separatists accounting for another 30,000.
After the news emerged of Russian troops moving, the foreign secretary, 丽兹桁架, said she had spoken to Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, saying the EU and UK had agreed to “coordinate to deliver swift sanctions against Putin’s regime and stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine”.