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UK prime minister to call Putin in attempt to stop Ukraine invasion

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson records an address to the nation
Kirsty O'Connor, Pool via Associated Press

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit Russia and talk with President Vladimir Putin over the phone in an attempt to stop an invasion of Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Johnson’s administration told The Independent on Friday the prime minister will visit the region in the coming days as tensions build up over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister is determined to accelerate diplomatic efforts and ramp up deterrence to avoid bloodshed in Europe,” the spokesperson said, according to The Independent. “He will reiterate the need for Russia to step back and engage diplomatically when he speaks to President Putin this week.”

Russia has amassed around 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and has threatened retaliatory measures if demands — including a commitment not to include Ukraine within the security alliance NATO — are not met.

President Biden said on Friday he would send a small number of U.S. troops to Eastern Europe as the likelihood of an invasion grows. The U.S. military has already put 8,500 troops on heightened alert.

The U.K., a NATO ally, is also expected to assist in the event of any Russian invasion. British officials previously warned that Russia plans to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

According to The Independent, Downing Street will consider a range of options to deter a Russian invasion, including sanctions and a bolstering of NATO defenses.

Johnson has been adamant that a Russian invasion would be “a disaster for the world” and a “painful, violent and bloody business.” However, the prime minister said he still believes that the invasion can be stopped.

“I don’t think it’s by any means inevitable now,” he told the BBC on Monday. “I think that sense can still prevail.”

Tags Boris Johnson Invasion Joe Biden Russia U.K. Ukraine Vladimir Putin War

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