Britain will ‘never recognise’ Russia’s seizure of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territory, says PM

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Britain will ‘never recognise’ Russia’s seizure of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territory, says PM

Boris Johnson today declared that Britain will 'never recognise' Russia's seizure of Crimea or 'any other Ukrainian territory'.The Prime Minister reit

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Boris Johnson today declared that Britain will ‘never recognise’ Russia’s seizure of Crimea or ‘any other Ukrainian territory’.

The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine, in the face of Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion, at an international conference.

The summit – hosted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – comes ahead of the six-month anniversary of the latest phase of Russia’s assault on its neighbour, which began on 24th February this year.

Tomorrow is also Ukraine’s independence day, which will mark 31 years since the country’s independence from Soviet rule.

Downing Street was today adorned with flowers of Ukraine’s national colours in preparation for the country’s celebration.

But celebrations in Kyiv itself tomorrow have been banned amid fears of fresh Russian attacks on the Ukrainian capital.

Mr Johnson joined other world leaders – such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s Mario Draghi, and Japan’s Fumio Kishida – in speaking via video-link at this afternoon’s conference.

Today’s event followed last year’s inaugral summit, which was held to coordinate international efforts over Crimea – the Ukrainian peninsula that was annexed by Russia in 2014. 

In his address, the PM condemned Mr Putin’s ‘land grab’ of Crimea, which he described as the ‘direct precursor’ to the full-scale conflict that rages between Russia and Ukraine.

Boris Johnson reiterated the UK's support for Ukraine, in the face of Vladimir Putin's barbaric invasion, at an international conference

Boris Johnson reiterated the UK's support for Ukraine, in the face of Vladimir Putin's barbaric invasion, at an international conference

Boris Johnson reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine, in the face of Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion, at an international conference

The PM, pictured on his way to make a video address to the summit, declared that Britain will 'never recognise' Russia's seizure of Crimea

The PM, pictured on his way to make a video address to the summit, declared that Britain will 'never recognise' Russia's seizure of Crimea

The PM, pictured on his way to make a video address to the summit, declared that Britain will ‘never recognise’ Russia’s seizure of Crimea

Downing Street was today adorned with flowers of Ukraine's national colours in preparation for the country's celebration

Downing Street was today adorned with flowers of Ukraine's national colours in preparation for the country's celebration

Downing Street was today adorned with flowers of Ukraine’s national colours in preparation for the country’s celebration

Mr Johnson joined other world leaders - such as Canada's Justin Trudeau, Germany's Olaf Scholz, France's Emmanuel Macron, Italy's Mario Draghi, and Japan's Fumio Kishida - in speaking at the conference

Mr Johnson joined other world leaders - such as Canada's Justin Trudeau, Germany's Olaf Scholz, France's Emmanuel Macron, Italy's Mario Draghi, and Japan's Fumio Kishida - in speaking at the conference

Mr Johnson joined other world leaders – such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s Mario Draghi, and Japan’s Fumio Kishida – in speaking at the conference

The summit - hosted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - comes ahead of the six-month anniversary of the latest phase of Russia's assault on its neighbour

The summit - hosted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - comes ahead of the six-month anniversary of the latest phase of Russia's assault on its neighbour

The summit – hosted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – comes ahead of the six-month anniversary of the latest phase of Russia’s assault on its neighbour

Mr Johnson urged world leaders to ‘have the humility to acknowledge that not everyone realised the sheer enormity of what was happening at the time’ in 2014.

He added this was the ‘first act’ of the current ‘tragedy’ taking place in eastern Europe.

‘Ever since the annexation, the people of Crimea have endured a brutal and systematic campaign of human rights abuses by the Russian authorities,’ the PM said.

‘I’m afraid that all this has even greater salience today because Putin is planning to do to parts of Ukraine – in fact all of Ukraine – what he has done to Crimea.

‘He is preparing more annexations and more sham referendums.

‘So it has never been more important for all of us to stand together in defence of the foundational principle of international law.

‘No territory, no country, can acquire territory or change borders by force of arms.

‘And it so follows that we will never recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territory.

‘In the face of Putin’s assault, we must continue give our Ukrainian friends all the military, humanitarian, economic and diplomatic support that they need until Russia ends this hideous war and withdraws its forces from the entirety of Ukraine.’

No10 was decorated ahead of Ukraine's independence day tomorrow, which will mark 31 years since the country's independence from Soviet rule

No10 was decorated ahead of Ukraine's independence day tomorrow, which will mark 31 years since the country's independence from Soviet rule

No10 was decorated ahead of Ukraine’s independence day tomorrow, which will mark 31 years since the country’s independence from Soviet rule

Mr Johnson now has less than two weeks left in Downing Street, with the PM due to hand over to his successor – whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – on 6th September.

Yesterday, Downing Street said Mr Johnson would spend his final days in power restating British support for Ukraine.

A large focus this week is on reiterating our support for Ukraine, and that is an unwavering commitment that we have to supporting Ukraine in the face of an illegal war,’ a Number 10 spokeswoman said.

It has been reported that Ms Truss – who is widely expected to win the Tory leadership contest to replace Mr Johnson – is considering making a trip to Ukraine one of her first acts in office in a public show of support for Kyiv.

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