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PM warns of nuclear disaster risk after Ukrainian power plant shelled

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B

oris Johnson has warned of the “risk” of nuclear disaster in Europe following the Russian shelling of a Ukrainian power plant, as he said the world is “turning its back” on Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with foreign newspapers, the Prime Minister described the moment he was woken in the middle of the night to the news of the attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear site, the likes of which he said were “clearly a matter of our common European health and safety”.

He said it must be made clear to the Kremlin that “a civilian nuclear disaster in Ukraine, another Chernobyl, is a disaster for Russia as well as for everybody”.

In a call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday evening, the Prime Minister described the crisis in Ukraine as “the worst war on our continent for a long time”.

And in a video message on Twitter, he reiterated that “however long it takes, however arduous, Putin must fail”.

Mr Johnson argued that “the world is turning its back on Putin and his regime”, with “nation after nation” taking a stand.

“The vice is tightening its grip, and it will continue to tighten,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, the Government announced it was bringing forward amendments to the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill, to ensure it can “respond even more swiftly and effectively to the current crisis in the way we sanction individuals”.

The Prime Minister said the UK was “bolstering” its package of sanctions against the Kremlin with “new powers in our arsenal to go further and faster”.

He said the changes would “ramp up the pressure on those criminal elites trying to launder money on UK soil”, ensuring they have “nowhere to hide”.

But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made clear in a late night address on Friday that he felt the West needed to do more to defend Ukraine, criticising Nato for its refusal to impose a no-fly zone.

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