May 24
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Britain will "contribute" to any new deployments of NATO forces if Russia "invades" Ukraine, Boris Johnson said, Sky News reported.

He said Western allies would respond "in unison" to "any Russian attack" on Ukraine by imposing sanctions "heavier than anything we have done before."

Johnson said: "If Russia invades Ukraine, we would look to contribute to any new NATO deployments to protect our allies in Europe."

He said that Britain leads NATO forces in Estonia and last week supplied anti-tank missiles and a small group of British troops to Ukraine, where the British military has trained 21,000 Ukrainian troops since 2015.

"Ukrainians have every moral and legal right to defend their country and I believe their resistance would be dogged and tenacious, and the bloodshed comparable to the first war in Chechnya, or Bosnia, or any other conflict that Europe has endured since 1945. No one would gain from such a catastrophe. Russia would create a wasteland in a country which as she constantly reminds us, is composed of fellow Slavs; and Russia would never be able to call it peace," he said.

Johnson said Britain has been working with the U.S. and European allies for months to avoid war through dialogue and deterrence in the form of sanctions.

He added that he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin in mid-December and told him that NATO "had no thought of encircling or otherwise threatening his country" but Ukraine "of course enjoys an equal and symmetrical right to that of Russia".

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