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Baltic tension: ‘This is the most dangerous time’ for Europe, Boris Johnson warned

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia changed temperature in the last few hours. After Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Moscow and Kiev to achieve a “de-escalation”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg adopted the hawkish position.

“This is the most dangerous moment in what is the biggest security crisis Europe has faced in decades,” Boris Johnson warned from Warsaw. But he believes that sanctions, military resolve and diplomacy will work.

The British prime minister is visiting Belgium and Poland on Thursday as part of diplomatic efforts in the face of Russia’s buildup of thousands of troops on the border with its neighbor.

Johnson recently offered to double the number of British troops on Europe’s borders with Russia.as well as deploying more UK aircraft and ships to the region.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki at a military base near Warsaw on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS

diplomatic attempts

The British leader stressed that Germany, which has a new coalition and opposed sending weapons to Ukraine, “is working to deter Russia” and “all NATO allies are working together.”

Boris Johnson has warned that “the stakes are high” amid continued fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“This is a very dangerous time. The rules that protect all nations, large and small, are at stake,” the British prime minister announced.

At a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the prime minister said it was “time to de-escalate”.

“We must resist. We must oppose any return to the days when the destinies of nations are decided over their heads by a handful of great powers,” he said.

“Honestly, I don’t think a decision has been made yet. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible that something absolutely disastrous could happen very soon,” Johnson warned.

The risks for Russia from the invasion of Ukraine have increased, he considered.

“Our intelligence, I am afraid to say, remains bleak. We are seeing the concentration of a large number of tactical battalion groups on the border with Ukraine,” the premier warned.

Russia launched military exercises with Belarus and fueled Western fears of an invasion of Ukraine.  Photo: EFE

Russia launched military exercises with Belarus and fueled Western fears of an invasion of Ukraine. Photo: EFE

military support

NATO chief Stoltenberg said he is “prepared to listen to Russia’s concerns.” But he warned that this is “a dangerous time for European security“.

“NATO will not compromise basic principles: the right of each nation to choose its own path and NATO’s ability to protect and defend all allies,” he announced.

On his stopover in Warsaw, Boris Johnson gave a joint statement with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. There he reiterated the UK’s support for European allies. He said 350 more British soldiers landed in Poland on Thursday to bolster support in Eastern Europe.

The former Eastern countries are the most fearful of a Russian hybrid attack or an invasion of the Baltics, Moldova or Romania, where NATO troops have been deployed in a gesture of unity.

Russian vehicles during joint military exercises in the Brest region of Belarus.  Photo: AFP

Russian vehicles during joint military exercises in the Brest region of Belarus. Photo: AFP

“Poland and the UK will not accept a world where a powerful neighbor can bully or attack its neighbors,” Johnson said.

“We will not accept it because we believe that all people have the right to live in security and choose who governs them and decide which organization they want to belong to or which organizations they want to leave,” said the British prime minister.

Procedures in Moscow

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss traveled to Moscow to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine. The chancellor urged the Kremlin to engage in diplomacy over Ukraine as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly demands “mutual respect.”

She was the first British chancellor to visit Russia in 4 years, after the spy crisis.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the meeting with Liz Truss “was like talking to a deaf person,” ignoring Russian demands.

At the press conference he abandoned her and left her talking to herself. It is not yet known what happened to the lunch that they had to keep together.

Paris, correspondent

CB

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