Britain considering major NATO deployment amid Ukraine crisis
Britain has said that any Russian incursion into
Ukraine would be met with swift sanctions and would be devastating for both
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to visit the
region next week, and also will speak to Vladimir Putin by phone.
Johnson is considering the biggest possible offer to
members of the NATO defence pact in the Nordics and Baltics, which would double
troop numbers and send defensive weapons to Estonia, his office said.
“This package would send a clear message to the
Kremlin – we will not tolerate their destabilising activity, and we will always
stand with our NATO allies in the face of Russian hostility,” Johnson said
in a statement.
“I have ordered our Armed Forces to prepare to
deploy across Europe next week, ensuring we are able to support our NATO
Officials will finalise the details of the offer in
Brussels next week, with ministers discussing the military options on Monday.
Stepping up diplomatic efforts after facing criticism
for not doing enough, Johnson will make a second trip to meet NATO counterparts
early next month, his office said.
Britain’s foreign and defence ministers will also both
go to Moscow for talks with their Russian counterparts in coming days, with the
aim of improving relations and de-escalating tensions.