British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, urging him to step back from escalating tensions over Ukraine, Downing Street said Friday, reports AFP.
Johnson “will reiterate the need for Russia to step back and engage diplomatically when he speaks to President Putin this week,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said, stressing the prime minister’s determination to “avoid bloodshed in Europe”.
Before a trip to the region expected next week, Mr Johnson is consider the plans to send fresh deployments of troops and equipment to the east as well as ideas for bolstering Nato’s defences. The new additional measures were requested by the prime minister last week after a high level intelligence meeting.
The Foreign Office is also expected to announce tougher sanctions on Monday, meaning the UK can target Russia’s strategic and financial interests. Diplomatic tactics for handling the crisis and offsetting “Russian aggression” have been reviewed and the UK leadership is set to embark on a fresh round of trips to meet key players.
Russia’s foreign minister said Liz Truss has “agreed a date” to visit Moscow within the next two weeks. Ms Truss is expected to arrive in Ukraine soon to show solidarity with the authorities there.
The Foreign Secretary’s visit would be the first to Russia since 2017, when Boris Johnson met with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.