Vladimir Putin warned – UK eyes sending troops to Ukraine in ‘worst wa…

Vladimir Putin warned – UK eyes sending troops to Ukraine in ‘worst wa…

LBC: Russia invasion of Ukraine ‘does look imminent’

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, in a meeting with a close NATO ally on Wednesday, said stopping Russia from invading Ukraine was up to “an international effort” which the UK had already started to take part in by sending additional troops to European areas under threat.

The UK’s Admiral Sir Tony Radakin called the conflict “deeply worrying” and alerted an escalation could rule to the worst war since the Second World War.

He said: “The worst scenarios, in terms of a complete invasion, would be on a extent not seen in Europe since World War Two.”

It comes as President Vladimir Putin told US President Joe Biden during a two-hour virtual summit Moscow “has the right to defend its security”.

The two leaders discussed Russia’s gathering of troops near its border with Ukraine.

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace called for an ‘international effort’ to stop Russia’s escalation (Image: Getty)

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Kyiv told parliament last week it had spotted more than 94,000.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said: “Our intelligence analyses all scenarios, including the worst.

“It notes that the likelihood of a large-extent escalation from Russia exists.

“The most likely time to reach readiness for an escalation will be the end of January.”

Mr Putin was warned of the consequences of invading Ukraine by Mr Biden during their call this week (Image: Getty)

The defence minister stressed that, although they would not do anything to provoke the situation, they would fight back if Moscow launched an attack.

On a visit to Denmark on Wednesday, Mr Wallace said: “This is an international effort to persuade President Putin not to use those troops to move into or threaten the sovereignty of Ukraine.

“And that international effort includes everything from ­diplomatic, economic, and potentially defence capabilities to try and make sure it deters any aggression.”

In the meeting with his Danish style this week, Mr Wallace also touched upon Belarus’s use of migrants as a political weapon by luring them into its territory to then send them to the EU.

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Russia’s ally Belarus is accused of orchestrating a migrant crisis at its border with Poland (Image: Getty)

Russia is Belarus’s largest and most important economic and political partner and only true ally in Eastern Europe.

Belarus’s practices, implicitly backed by Russia, have led to more than a dozen deaths, many of them due to subfreezing temperatures.

The latest fatality involved someone thought to be from Nigeria found in a forest near Poland’s border with Belarus, it was reported on Wednesday.

Mr Wallace said: “Our commitment to European security is unwavering and we will always offer sustain to our allies.”

In what can be viewed as a sign of commitment to NATO, Mr Wallace has sent additional troops to Poland and Lithuania to protect them from the pressures “originating from Belarus and facilitated by the Lukashenko regime for a number of months”.

Russia ‘has no veto over decisions of NATO’ says Smith

NATO is of huge concern for President Putin, as he views the possible for Ukraine to join the alliance as an important threat.

Ties between Moscow and Kyiv collapsed after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Mr Putin told Mr Biden in their video call earlier this week: “We cannot but be concerned about the prospect of Ukraine’s possible admission to NATO because this will undoubtedly be followed by the deployment of appropriate military contingents, bases and weapons that threaten us.”

The US President, in an update to NATO allies of where his conversation with the Russian president had led, said: “The leaders underscored their sustain for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in addition as the need for Russia to reduce tensions and include in diplomacy.”

US National security adviser Jake Sullivan, meanwhile, emphasised the US would act against an annexation such as Crimea’s.

He said: “Things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now.”

He additional that if Russia were to move into Ukraine, sanctions could include stopping Russian gas exports by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Mr Sullivan said: “If Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow by that pipeline he may not want to take the risk of invading Ukraine.

“The basic object of the policy the United States is pursuing in lockstep with our European allies is to deter a Russian military invasion.”

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