British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday will make an official visit to Ukraine, amid fears of a Russian invasion of the Eastern European nation.
Johnson will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s military buildup along the country’s northern, eastern, and southern borders with Belarus and Moscow.
“It is the right of every Ukrainian to determine how they are governed. As a friend and a democratic partner, the UK will continue to uphold Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of those who seek to destroy it,” Johnson said in a statement.
“We urge Russia to step back and engage in dialogue to find a diplomatic resolution and avoid further bloodshed,” the prime minister added.
The UK government also announced a $115 million aid package from its Good Governance Fund to support Kyiv in its efforts to reduce its energy reliance on Russia in case of a blockade of any kind.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss declared on Monday that the government’s sanctions policy against Moscow will be tightened, allowing it to target any company or people linked to the Russian state.
Truss, however, will not be joining Johnson in his diplomatic push after contracting coronavirus.
Moscow is accused of amassing over 100,000 troops on its western border with Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called such maneuvers military exercises, and has rejected claims of a Russian invasion, but he has warned NATO against further expansion eastward.
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