Boris Johnson praised the Ukrainians for their ‘heroic fight’ as allies unveiled new measures to hit Russia’s financial system and Liz Truss said the Foreign Office was preparing a ‘blacklist’ of oligarchs to sanction.
Mr Johnson also said the West was “tightening the economic tie” around Russia, with Britain, the United States, Canada and the European Union jointly announcing that some Russian banks would be excluded from the payment system. Swift Global.
They said they would impose “restrictive measures” to prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves “in a way that undermines the impact of our sanctions”.
After speaking by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Johnson said the West must do everything possible to change the “very heavy odds” against Ukraine in its fight against Moscow’s forces.
He confirmed that Britain would send new weapons to the Ukrainians and he said financial measures were essential to put pressure on the Kremlin.
“It’s extremely important to strengthen the economic tie around the Putin regime,” he told broadcasters during a visit to RAF Brize Norton.
Mr Johnson also said: “Let’s not doubt it, things are not going all the way with President Putin, very far from it.
“Ukrainians are fighting heroically, and in some places very successfully, as many of us thought we would because it is a big country and a very brave country. »
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that his country is considering sending military support to Ukraine through NATO after previously pledging only non-lethal aid.
“I have just spoken to the Minister of Defense and we will seek to provide all possible support for lethal aid through our NATO partners, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom,” said Mr. Morrison to reporters on Sunday in Sydney.
It came as the foreign minister said there would be “no place left to hide” for the Kremlin’s super-rich allies.
The warning follows Mr Johnson’s appointment last week of eight wealthy Russians who will be hit with travel bans and asset freezes, along with more than 100 individuals, entities and affiliates.
In an interview with The Sunday TimesMs Truss said new names would be added to the list every few weeks as ministers sought to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin following his invasion of Ukraine.
“We have already received letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from lawyers, threatening us, so we must ensure that the files are properly prepared and that we have the right evidence before sanctioning these individuals,” she said. declared.
“That’s why we are taking it step by step, but we are working on this blacklist and we will continue to sanction new oligarchs every few weeks. »
The Duke of Sussex, during an appearance at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles, drew attention to the current crisis for the people of Ukraine “who urgently need our support as a global community “.
Hours earlier, tech billionaire Elon Musk said his Starlink satellite internet service “is now active” in Ukraine and that several of its antennas are “on the way” following a request for help from the Deputy Prime Minister. country minister.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced he was dropping his country’s opposition to the move, removing a major hurdle to an international deal.
“The horror of what is unfolding in Ukraine is becoming clear to Western audiences and this in turn is putting enormous pressure on Western politicians,” Johnson said.
He said that while Ukrainian forces were fighting “heroically”, it was clear that “terrible atrocities” had been committed and the country faced “dark days” ahead.
Britain had been pushing for action against Swift – described by one minister as the “ultimate economic sanction” – for some time.
Germany and Italy – both of which are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas imports – were among the reluctant countries.
The move came the day the expected Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, failed to materialize.
However, on Sunday morning, a Ukrainian official said Russian forces were fighting in the streets of Kharkiv, the country’s second city, hours after Russia blew up a gas pipeline nearby.
The state Communications and Information Special Protection Service warned that the blast, which it said resembled a mushroom cloud, could cause an “environmental disaster” and advised residents to cover their windows with a damp cloth or gauze and drink plenty of fluids.
We would like to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this incredible content
Boris Johnson praises Ukrainians for ‘heroic fight’ as invasion enters day four – Reuters