The Prime Minister met Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Poland this morning (1 March 2022).
The British leader told Prime Minister Morawiecki that this is a key moment for the Ukrainian resistance and “we must be ready to increase and intensify sanctions.”
The Prime Minister praised Poland for being on the front line of humanitarian efforts.
They discussed the talks between Ukraine and Russia and the long-term disinformation that had misled Russian troops. The leaders welcomed EU and Germany’s support for defence and humanitarian efforts.
Speaking alongside his Polish counterpart, the Prime Minister said the UK ‘stands ready’ to take refugees in ‘considerable numbers’ – later suggesting that could mean more than 200,000.
In his speech the British PM praised Ukrainian President Zelensky saying:
‘I think he has inspired and mobilised not only his own people, he is inspiring and mobilising the world in outrage at what is happening in Ukraine.’
Of President Putin, Boris Johnson said:
‘Putin has lied to his people and his troops about how this will go… and he has now been caught out in that lie.’
‘He has hurled his war machine on the people of Ukraine, a fellow Slavic country, he has bombarded civilian targets, fired rockets at blocks of flats, he is responsible for hundreds of civilian casualties including growing numbers of children.
‘And also, of course, for the deaths of many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.
‘We must accept the grim reality that Putin will continue to tighten the vice and, if you go by the size and firepower of Vladimir Putin’s war machine, the odds have always been heavily against Ukrainian armed forces.’
The Prime Minister is now heading on to Estonia for talks this afternoon as the UK pushes for sanctions to be ratcheted up again.
In Estonia, PM Boris Johnson will hold talks with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.
They will jointly visit British troops serving ‘on the front line of Russian aggression’ in Tapa, No 10 said, before meetings with Estonian PM Kaja Kallas and Estonian President Alar Karis to discuss security.
Speaking before his visit to the two Nato members, Boris Johnson said:
‘Alongside all our international allies the UK will continue to bring maximum pressure to bear on Putin’s regime to ensure he feels the consequences of his actions in Ukraine.
‘We speak with one voice when we say, Putin must fail.’
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