The British government will introduce new legislation this week to broaden the scope of sanctions it can apply to Russia in an effort to deter aggression towards Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said.
“Any company of interest to the Kremlin and the regime in Russia would be able to be targeted so there will be nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs, for Russian companies involved in propping up the Russian state,” she said on Sunday.
Tensions have soared as Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border.
Russia said on Sunday it wants “mutually respectful” relations with the United States and denied posing a threat to Ukraine, but accused NATO of wanting to “drag” Ukraine into the alliance. NATO’s chief said the alliance has no plans to deploy combat troops to Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion.
Here are the latest updates:
Basic military training for Kyiv volunteers
Members of Ukraine’s far right movement Azov together with the National Corp held military training for volunteers in Kyiv to teach them self-defence in case of an attack from Russia.
Training under the slogan “Do not panic, get ready!” was held at the outskirts of Kyiv where hundreds of volunteers had showed up.
The training involved tactical maneuvers, as well as basic instructions on how to hold a weapon.
Head of Azov battalion Maxim Zhorin told The Associated Press the group was holding training because of the “absolute ineffective actions” of Ukraine’s government.
Russia demonstrates new fighters in Kaliningrad
Amid tensions with Ukraine and NATO, Russia has launched military drills across multiple fronts, the latest being in the Kaliningrad region.
Russian state TV showed the country’s new Sukhoi SU-30SM2 fighter jets being deployed to the region.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the new multi-purpose fighters have more modern engines and radars compared to previous SU-30 models, and could also bear an extended arsenal of air-to air and ground-to-air weapons.
Speaking to Russian media, Oleg Shevchenko, the head of flight security service at the air base, said the true potential of these fighter jets was still “to be discovered”.
NATO calls on Europe to diversify energy supply
Europe needs to diversify its energy supplies, the head of NATO said.
The European Union depends on Russia for around a third of its gas supplies and any interruption would exacerbate an existing energy crisis caused by a shortage.
“We are concerned about the energy situation in Europe because it demonstrates the vulnerability of being too dependent on one supplier of natural gas and that’s the reason why NATO allies agree that we need to work and focus on diversification of supplies,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenburg said.
Russia’s Lavrov: NATO wants to ‘drag’ Ukraine into alliance
Russia’s foreign minister says that NATO wants to pull Ukraine into the alliance.
Russia has long resented NATO’s granting membership to countries that were once part of the Soviet Union or were in its sphere of influence as members of the Warsaw Pact.
“[NATO] has already come close to Ukraine. They also want to drag this country there,” Lavrov said. “Although everyone understands that Ukraine is not ready and could make no contribution to strengthening NATO security.”
Ukraine has sought NATO membership for years, but any prospects of joining appear far off as the country struggles to find political stability and attack corruption.
Very unlikely British troops will fight in Ukraine: Truss
It is very unlikely British soldiers would be sent to fight alongside Ukrainian troops in the event of a Russian invasion, the UK’s foreign secretary said.
Liz Truss also told the BBC it was “highly likely” Russia was looking to invade Ukraine.
Asked if there was any scenario in which British troops could be sent to fight in Ukraine, Truss said: “That is very unlikely. This is about making sure that the Ukrainian forces have all the support we can give them.”
Russia wants ‘mutually respectful’ ties with US
Russia has said it wants “mutually respectful” relations with the US and denied posing a threat to Ukraine.
“We want good, equal, mutually respectful relations with the United States, like with every country in the world,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian TV on Sunday.
He added, however, that Russia does not want to remain in a position “where our security is infringed daily”.
Lavrov said NATO’s line of defence “continues moving eastwards” and has come “very close” to Ukraine, which according to him, is “not ready” to join NATO.
UK preparing new Russia sanctions law to leave ‘nowhere to hide’
The United Kingdom will unveil new sanctions legislation next week to hit “a much wider variety” of Russian economic targets as part of efforts to deter Moscow from invading Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said.
The UK’s top diplomat said the draft law would widen the country’s sanctions toolbox so “any company of interest to the Kremlin and the regime in Russia” could be targeted.
“There will be nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs,” Truss told Sky News.
NATO chief says no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine
NATO has no plans to deploy combat troops to non-NATO member Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
“We have no plans to deploy NATO combat troops to Ukraine … we are focusing on providing support,” Stoltenberg told the BBC.
“There is a difference between being a NATO member and being a strong and highly valued partner as Ukraine. There’s no doubt about that.”