Ukraine. UK will stand ‘side by side’ with Kyiv but ‘extremely unlikely’ to send troops, says Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab | Political news

The UK will stand “side by side” with Ukraine, but it is “extremely unlikely” that British troops will be sent to the Russian border, Dominic Raab has said.

Deputy PM says UK and other countries would apply economic and financial sanctions on Moscow if Russia invades Ukraine – as the troops move up to the border.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “We will support them to defend themselves.

“But also, to the international community, to the NATO allies in the West, we stand side by side saying that there will be very serious consequences if Russia makes this decision to try to invade and also to install puppet regime.

Read more: Foreign Ministry accuses Russia of plotting to install pro-Kremlin leader in Ukraine

Ukrainian volunteer military units trained in a Kyiv park over the weekend as dozens of civilians join army reserves

Mr Raab, who asked if the UK would send troops if Russia invaded, added: ‘It is extremely unlikely that we will, but what we can say is that we are already ready and that we engage in training programs to help Ukrainians defend themselves, that is absolutely correct.”

Foreign Ministry accuses Moscow of conspiracy

The Deputy Prime Minister’s comments come after Britain’s Foreign Office on Saturday night accused Russia of a shadowy plot to install a pro-Kremlin government in Kyiv.

In a highly unusual decision that appeared to be based on specially declassified intelligence, the Foreign Office alleged that a former Ukrainian MP was “considered a potential candidate” as the new leader in what would be a significant escalation of the crisis.

But Yevhen Murayevm, owner of a television channel in Ukraine, said the charge against him was “stupidity and nonsense”.

He said he was “amused” by the allegations as he has been under Kremlin sanctions for four years and banned from Russia.

Eyewitness: “On the brink of something terrible” – The frozen border between Russia and Ukraine

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However, Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, told Sir Trevor that Mr Murayevm openly appears on his TV channel and provides pro-Russian views.

“He is trying to appeal to Ukrainians who still believe that the Soviet Union and Russia are the best way for Ukraine to develop,” he said.

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On the border between Russia and Ukraine

“We will fight to the death”

Mr Prystaiko, asked if he thought Russia would invade Ukraine, replied: “I think so, it wouldn’t be the first time.

“We will fight to the death, unfortunately so many people in our country will die but we will try to get as many Russians as they come.”

As civilians take part in military training this week after joining the reserves, he added that Ukraine does not have enough troops to defend the border and hopes allies will help if Russia invades.

Germany set to be last to block aid ‘due to world wars’

Mr Prystaiko also denounced Germany for preventing NATO ally Estonia from providing military support to Ukraine by refusing to issue permits for the export of German-made weapons to Kyiv .

The ambassador said: “If I had someone from NATO to say things like that, I would expect Germany to be the last, so many Ukrainians still remember what the ambassador said. Germany has done in our part of the globe, in Ukraine in particular.

A member of the Ukrainian armed forces patrols the separation line of the Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region
A member of the Ukrainian armed forces patrols the separation line of the Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region

Read more: What’s happening at the Russian-Ukrainian border?

“We are talking about the two world wars. There is no Ukrainian family that has not been affected.

“If I have to listen to someone say that the Ukrainians can’t have weapons, then Germany should be on the line.”

Mr Prystaiko also said that Ukraine had asked Germany to stop using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline recently completely under the Baltic Sea, which will supply gas from Russia. Stopping its use would likely make skyrocketing gas prices across Europe worse.

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