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Crucial window remains for diplomacy and Russia to step back – Johnson and Biden

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“crucial window for diplomacy and for Russia to step back from its threats towards Ukraine” remains, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden have said.

The two leaders agreed during a call on Monday evening that western allies should stay “united in the face of Russian threats”, and will keep in close contact as the situation develops, according to a No 10 spokesperson.

It follows a warning from the Prime Minister earlier on Monday that an invasion could take place within 48 hours as he urged Russia’s president to step back from the “edge of a precipice”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee, urged Britons to leave Ukraine by commercial routes while they still could because of the risk of an “imminent Russian invasion”.

Giving details of Mr Johnson’s call with the US leader, the Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and President Biden updated one another on their recent discussions with fellow world leaders. They agreed there remained a crucial window for diplomacy and for Russia to step back from its threats towards Ukraine.

“The leaders emphasised that any further incursion into Ukraine would result in a protracted crisis for Russia, with far-reaching damage for both Russia and the world.

“They agreed that western allies must remain united in the face of Russian threats, including imposing a significant package of sanctions should Russian aggression escalate.

“The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed to remain in close contact as the situation evolves.”

The White House said the two leaders also reviewed “ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders”.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

It added that the two discussed efforts to reinforce the defensive posture on Nato’s eastern flank and underlined the continued close co-ordination among allies including the ability to impose “severe consequences” should Russia invade.

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