UK ministers have warned the Russian government that it will face serious consequences if they invade Ukraine.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said there currently is “a very serious risk” of an invasion and that there would be “severe economic consequences,” including sanctions, if Russia entered Ukraine.
Suggestions were made by the US government that one of those sanctions would be to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is set to deliver natural gas to Germany.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stressed that sanctions for an invasion could mean suspending the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which reportedly is completed but hasn’t been commissioned yet. The pipeline is seen as an important part of Europe’s energy supply network, but also a crown jewel in Moscow’s export capabilities. So, how would Tony Blinken explain that to the Germans?
“Our view continues to be that stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a credible piece we hold over Russia,” Psaki said.
Asked if the sanctions threat would be enough to prevent Russia from invading, Deputy PM Raab said Putin would also be worried about getting “bogged down in Ukraine” resulting in “another Chechnya,” which could cause the Kremlin another several years of conflict.
He added that Russia “needs to live up to the basic tenets of international law and invading another country is not one of those.”
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) denied it. Does anyone reading this at this point believe they would have admitted it?
The MFA took to social media to deny the allegations.
We urge the Foreign Office to stop spreading nonsense.
☝️ We urge the Foreign Office to stop spreading nonsense.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 23, 2022
That response sounds like Putin could have gone to our social media tech tyrants for advice.
So, the official response from Russia, that has already amassed a hundred thousand military troops along Ukraine’s border, is claiming that the UK is spreading disinformation that they want to install their own government inside the country.
Here is the UK’s Foreign Secretary’s statement on the Kremlin’s plans to move in a pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine:
We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine. The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.
We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians including:
- Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012-2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014
- Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich
- Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO)
- Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014
Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.
Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy. As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.
The UK’s position on Ukraine is also clear. We unequivocally support its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country.