UK, Polish and Dutch prime ministers to visit Kyiv in coming days, says Ukraine’s foreign minister

31 January 2022, 10:17 PM

The prime ministers of the United Kingdom, Poland and the Netherlands will visit the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv in the coming days, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Jan. 31.

The visits of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will take place amid the looming threat of a further Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.

The UK’s Mirror newspaper reported that Johnson would travel to Ukraine on Feb. 1.

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“I think that an invasion of Ukraine, any incursion into Ukraine beyond the territory that Russia has already taken in 2014 would be an absolute disaster for the world, and above all it would be a disaster for Russia,” Johnson said in Tilbury, Essex, England, ahead of his visit to Ukraine.

Kyiv is also currently hosting several top-ranked diplomats at the moment.

“Foreign ministers are constantly arriving,” Kuleba said. “My Greek colleague is already in Ukraine, my colleague from the Netherlands is almost on his way, as well as my British colleague.”

“The foreign ministers of Germany and France, who act as mediators in the Normandy format, will also pay a visit at this time.”

Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October.

More than 130,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the

situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”

The proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.

On Jan. 14, the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper and the U.S.-based CNN news channel reported that Russia had positioned covert operatives in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to use as a pretext for a Russian attack.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Jan. 28 that Russia is not interested in a war, but will not allow its “security interests” to be neglected. The Kremlin demands that the United States and NATO guarantee that Ukraine will never join the alliance.

On Jan. 29, Moscow reported that divisions that belong to Russia’s Western military district were allegedly returning to their bases after “concluding routine combat readiness tests” near Ukrainian border.

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