The UK or its allies are not considering deploying additional troops to defend Ukraine if it is invaded by neighboring Russia as tensions continue to mount, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said. US intelligence reportedly claimed that Russia had stationed around 70,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and had started planning for a possible invasion as early as next year.
In an interview with Spectator, Wallace said Ukraine “is not a member of NATO, so it is highly unlikely that anyone will send troops to Ukraine to challenge Russia.”
“We shouldn’t fool people as we would. Ukrainians are aware of this, ”he added, in comments reported by The Times ahead of the publication of the interview. When asked the UK Secretary of Defense if that meant Ukraine was alone against Russia, Wallace said: Putin isn’t doing this.
However, earlier, in a joint statement, Wallace and Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov said in November that they were “concerned” about the military build-up of Russia. The statement added: “The UK stands by the Ukrainian people and will continue its long-standing determination to support them. ”
British Prime Minister warns Russia of “serious consequences”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his “deep concern” to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s strengthening of its troop presence on the border with Ukraine. As tensions continue to escalate on the Russian-Ukrainian border, sparking concerns over the invasion of Moscow, Johnson and Putin held talks with the British Prime Minister on Monday, reiterating the need to defuse tensions through diplomatic means. . However, Johnson also warned Putin of the “significant consequences” of any “destabilizing action” by Russia. Johnson also pledged to strengthen NATO forces on the EU’s periphery “if Russia invades Ukraine”.
Ukraine, which shares borders with the European Union (EU) and Russia, is a former Soviet republic and shares deep social and cultural ties with Moscow. However, Moscow continues to seek guarantees against NATO’s eastern expansion and the deployment of weapons near its borders. While Putin hardened his stance on the situation in Ukraine, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss on Sunday warned Russia of “serious consequences” if it invaded Ukraine.