Watch live as Liz Truss and Russian foreign minister hold press conference in Moscow
On the first visit to the Kremlin in four years by a British foreign secretary, Ms Truss urged Russia to “avoid bloodshed” and said that a “war in Ukraine will be disastrous for the Russian and Ukrainian people”.
In response, Mr Lavrov said that the Kremlin were prepared to engage diplomatically but only from a position of “mutual respect” with Britain.
He warned that threats towards Russia regarding a potential invasion were a “road to nowhere”.
His comments come after warnings from the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces that his troops were ready to fight for every metre of land until their last breath.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi told Sky News that any Russian invasion “will not be a simple walk in the park”, adding: “This is a warning… we will make sure to fight until the very last breath for every single metre of Ukrainian land.”
Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he was putting 1,000 more British troops on standby to boost Nato’s presence in eastern Europe.
Ukrainian troops will ‘fight until the very last breath’ for every metre of land, commander says
A Russian invasion of Ukraine will not be a “simple walk in the park”, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces has told Sky News.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi said that his soldiers would fight for every single metre of Ukrainian land until their very last breath.
In a clear warning to Russia, General Syrskyi said: “The armed forces of Ukraine are ready. We are capable and we will not give up a single metre of Ukrainian land without a fight.
“This will not be a simple walk in park if they do decide to conduct a full-blown invasion.
“This is a warning.. we will make sure to fight until the very last breath for every single metre of Ukrainian land. I trust in the Ukrainian servicemembers. I trust in our armed forces and I trust in our victory.”
Holly Bancroft10 February 2022 09:44
Russia starts military exercises in Belarus
Russia and Belarus launched joint military drills on Thursday despite concerns in Western countries that Moscow is plotting a major escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
The exercises, scheduled to continue until February 20 in Belarus, have begun and centre around “suppressing and repelling external aggression,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.
AFP contributed to this report.
Holly Bancroft10 February 2022 09:37
Boris Johnson flies to Poland as 1,000 British troops put on standby
One thousand British troops are being put on standby in case of a humanitarian crisis in eastern Europe if the current Russian military build-up leads to war, Downing Street has announced.
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Holly Bancroft10 February 2022 09:31
Boris Johnson vows to protect central European allies ahead of Nato meeting
British prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected a Western push for a reworking of the Minsk agreement without the backing of Ukraine.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Johnson said: “We are not going to conclude a grand bargain heedless of our allies in central Europe. We are not going to treat the nations at the heart of our Continent as pawns on a chessboard, to be haggled over or sacrificed.
“Every independent state, including Ukraine, has a sovereign right to decide its own foreign policy and seek its own alliances.
“This is not solely about avoiding the blood-soaked tragedy of another Russian invasion of Ukraine – heart-rending though that prospect is – but about preserving the essential principles that allow nations to live in peace and freedom”.
French president Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine had committed to honouring the Minsk accords – the deal, which aimed to create a ceasefire in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, was never fully implemented.
“We have now the possibility of advancing negotiations”, Mr Macron told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy this week.
Holly Bancroft10 February 2022 09:07
Extra troops will show Russia Nato is not ‘flaky’, says Ben Wallace
British defence secretary Ben Wallace has said that Britain’s plan to put another 1,000 troops on standby will show Russia that the Nato security alliance is not “flaky”.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Wallace said: “What this is really about is saying to president Putin: ‘Nato is not flaky. Nato will stand by its members, big or small.”
He said that the troops would provide “resilience” and “reassurance” to Nato allies, and suggested they could end up in any country that will feel the consequences of an invasion of Ukraine, such as Poland, Romania and the Baltics.
Mr Wallace added: “We’re not going deploying them, first and foremost, to war fight”.
Holly Bancroft10 February 2022 08:48