Boris Johnson says ‘bad peace’ in Russia-Ukraine war would be ‘disastrous’

Prime Minister Prime Minister admitted “fatigue” is setting in after the four-month-old invasion

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Boris Johnson has issued a dire warning to Western leaders not to agree to a “bad peace” in Ukraine – saying it would be a “disaster”.

Ahead of the G7 and NATO summits, the prime minister admitted that “fatigue” is now setting in with the four-month-old invasion.

But he said backing down now would “trigger” fresh brutality from Vladimir Putin “whenever he wanted.”

Mr Johnson also refused to rule out putting British troops at risk to get grain from the Russian-blockaded Black Sea port of Odessa.

“There are very strong moral reasons for trying to get the grain from Odessa,” he said. “It’s 23 million tons. Basically it starts.”

It came as Secretary of State Liz Truss today accused Russia of “arming hunger” and using food security with its blockade of Ukrainian grain as an “insensitive tool of war.”

Armed soldiers guard a Ukrainian military base in the town of Perevevalne near the Crimean city of Simferopol March 17, 2014 in Perevevalne, Ukraine


(Getty Images)

Boris Johnson added: “We have to do everything we can to get it out.

“According to the Montreux Convention, we can’t do that, no navy is allowed into the Black Sea, the Turks won’t allow it. But we certainly need to find a way to extract the grain that is not under Putin’s control.

“It takes a lot of care and thought, and we’re working with the Turks and other European partners to see what we can do.

“But we are far from wanting to send the navy through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.”

Dubbed the “breadbasket of Europe,” Ukraine was one of the world’s top exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.

But the Russian invasion and Moscow’s sea mining to prevent access to southern ports, including Odessa, have halted much of the flow and threatened the world’s food supply.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Ms Truss warned of “devastating consequences” if “urgent action is not taken within the next month before the new harvest”.

She accused Vladimir Putin of “arming hunger” with the blockade, adding: “He is using food security as a callous tool of war.

“He blocked Ukrainian ports and prevented 20 million tons of grain from being exported around the world, blackmailing the world.”

Ms Truss said ships needed “safe passage to be able to leave Ukrainian ports” with docks “protected from Russian attacks”.

NATO leaders are expected to discuss how grain exports can exit the war-torn country when they meet for a crisis summit in Madrid next week.

The Prime Minister said the war will “raise a little bit” at the Commonwealth Leaders’ Summit in Rwanda, which he will help open with Prince Charles today. UN, including India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh.

Russian President Vladimir Putin



The prime minister is likely to get a warmer welcome when he flies to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday night and the NATO summit in Madrid next week.

But he admitted: “There is no question that there is a lot of Ukraine fatigue in the world right now.

“So my message to colleagues at the G7, and particularly at NATO, is this: now is not the time to calm down and encourage Ukrainians to be content with a bad peace, a peace they are called upon to make giving up parts of their peace of territory in exchange for a truce.

“I think that would be a disaster. It would be a trigger for further escalation by Putin whenever he wanted.

“That would cause much more economic damage to the world.”

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