‘Don’t backslide!’ Boris Johnson warns allies not to row back on Russia sanctions

Russia has 'a shortage of troops' in Ukraine says expert

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The Prime Minister urged countries around the world to keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin even if there is a ceasefire agreed. While no country was specifically named, the UK and been closely working in collaboration with the US and EU on imposing tough measures against Moscow.

A change in stance from either partner would greatly hinder the UK’s efforts in cracking down on the Kremlin.

Mr Johnson told MPs at PMQs this afternoon there was a need to “make sure that there is no backsliding on sanctions by any of our friends and partners around the world”.

“In fact we need now to ratchet up the economic pressure on Vladimir Putin, and it is certainly inconceivable that any sanctions could be taken off simply because there is a ceasefire. That would be absolutely unthinkable in my view,” he continued.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman added: “We have seen the Russian regime use ceasefires to regroup before engaging again in violence.

“We should be under no illusions on that.”

Pushing for a further increase in sanctions against Putin, the No10 official also appeared to take a veiled swipe at Brussels’ failure to completely ban Russia from the SWIFT banking system.

While some measures have been adopted to cut some Russian banks out of the payments system, access to SWIFT has not been removed completely.

The UK has been one of the strongest advocates for firmer action on booting Russia out of the system.

Mr Johnosn’s spokesman added: “there is still more we can do on SWIFT.

“Obviously, that’s not an area we can move unilaterally on.

“That’s something the Foreign Secretary will keep raising with her counterparts to move further and faster on.”

More to follow…

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