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Ukraine crisis: PM tells allies he fears for security of Europe

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rime Minister Boris Johnson told allies on Friday evening that he fears for the security of Europe due to the situation in Ukraine, his office said.

He held a virtual meeting with the leaders of the United States, Italy, Poland, Romania, France, Germany, the European Council, the European Commission and Nato to discuss the situation.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister told the group that he feared for the security of Europe in the current circumstances.

“He impressed the need for Nato Allies to make it absolutely clear that there will be a heavy package of economic sanctions ready to go, should Russia make the devastating and destructive decision to invade Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister added that President Putin had to understand that there would be severe penalties that would be extremely damaging to Russia’s economy, and that Allies needed to continue with efforts to reinforce and support the Eastern frontiers of Nato. He urged the leaders to work together to deliver economic and defensive support to Ukraine.

“The leaders agreed that if President Putin deescalated, there was another way forward, and they pledged to redouble diplomatic efforts in the coming days.”

The call came as the Government urged all British nationals to leave Ukraine immediately as tensions escalate over a possible invasion by Russia.

And in a further sign of the growing concern about Russia’s intentions, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a press conference on Friday evening that a “Russian invasion could happen during the Olympics”.

Earlier, the White House said that leaders would discuss “concerns about Russia’s continued buildup of military forces around Ukraine and continued coordination on both diplomacy and deterrence” in the call, which was held at 4pm GMT.

It comes after US President Joe Biden warned “things could go crazy quickly” in Ukraine and urged American citizens to leave immediately.

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