British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said it was “extremely unlikely” that London and its allies would intervene militarily in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine “is not a member of NATO, so it is unlikely that it will send troops to Ukraine to confront Russia,” the minister said in a video interview published Thursday on the page of the British weekly “Spectator”.
“We shouldn’t make people think we’re going to do it. The Ukrainians are well aware of that,” he added, while US President Joe Biden has already rejected the military option.
However, the British defense minister said “there are certainly tough, dangerous and long-term economic sanctions that can be adopted”.
During a phone interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the UK would use “all its diplomatic and economic power” to prevent any Russian “aggression” against Ukraine, according to the government.
London has repeatedly warned Moscow, including in a phone call on Monday between Johnson and Vladimir Putin, that any invasion of Ukraine would be a “strategic mistake”.
According to Ben Wallace, “Russian military reinforcements have a clear objective.” “We are not sure that he (Vladimir Putin) made a decision, but his actions and his military preparations go in that direction … I think we should all be concerned,” he added.
Western countries accused Russia several weeks ago of amassing thousands of soldiers near the Ukrainian border to prepare for an offensive.
Russia rejects all accusations, asserting instead that it is threatened by NATO, which supports Ukraine militarily, according to Moscow.
Russia has opposed any expansion of NATO, the candidates for which are Ukraine and Georgia. On Friday, Russia revealed its proposals to radically reduce the influence of the United States and NATO in its area of influence.
A senior US official said Washington had said it was willing to discuss Russia’s security proposals even though it knew that “some of the things in that document are not acceptable.”
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