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Featured Image Credit: Rossiya-24
Vladimir Putin has announced his recognition of Eastern Ukraine's Rebel regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as new countries.
The Russian President addressed the nation today (21 February) on state television channel Rossiya-24.
It seems that the Ukraine crisis has now intensified after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would recognise two breakaway republics.
The decision to recognise Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine was an 'ill omen' and a flagrant breach of international law, Boris Johnson said.
The Prime Minister has condemned Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the breakaway Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
At a Downing Street press conference he said: “This is plainly in breach of international law, it’s a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine.
“It is a repudiation of the Minsk process and the Minsk Agreements.
“I think it’s a very ill omen and a very dark sign.”
The move appears to have dashed hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough which had been raised with the possibility of talks between Mr Putin and US President Joe Biden.
The Prime Minister had previously said sanctions would be triggered if Russia invaded Ukraine.
But he said: “Plainly what has happened is extremely bad news and we will be urgently talking to our friends and allies around the world, all of whom are jointly signed up with us in this package of sanctions.”
Mr Johnson said it was “becoming clear that we are going to need to start applying as much pressure as we possibly can”.
“It is hard to see how this situation improves,” he acknowledged.
It's being reported that MPs are expected to formally approve moves by the UK Government to toughen and expand its sanctions against Russia in response to aggression against Ukraine.
It would give ministers the power to impose new sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in a range of significant sectors such as the chemical, defence, extractives, ICT and financial services industries.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “We have to accept at the moment that Vladimir Putin is possibly thinking illogically about this and doesn’t see the disaster ahead."
He added: “The fact is that all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.
“That’s what our American friends think and you’re seeing these provocations now in Donbas – these explosions and so on – that we’ve been warning about for a long time.
“The plan that we’re seeing is for something that could be the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale.”