A leading Polish MEP, and the country’s former foreign minister, has heaped praise on Boris Johnson’s leadership during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in recent days. Speaking on BBC Question Time, Radek Sikorski bemoaned the fact that no-one in the EU is as strong on standing up to Vladimir Putin as the British Prime Minister. This comes as the EU blocked Britain and the US’ attempt to boot Russia out of the world’s biggest financial payments system.
Mr Sikorski said: “I think credit where credit is due.
“Boris’ decision to send anti-tank weapons to Ukraine was brave and timely.
“His decision to send British troops to Poland was also good.
“Hearing him in the last few days on Ukraine, I wish we had him on the European Council arguing for proper sanctions.”
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Last night, Brussels has been accused of refusing to take the toughest possible stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden had both pushed for Russia to be expelled from Swift, in order to effectively cut off the country’s economy.
Cutting Russia out of Swift would have blocked it from most international financial transactions, including profits from oil and gas production.
At a White House briefing, US President Joe Biden said the move is “always an option but right now that’s not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take”.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said those who had opposed Russia being blocked from Swift would have “the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children on their hands”.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns similarly lashed out at the EU’s response, as she called on the EU to act, rather than just projecting the Ukraine flag on the European Commission building.
On Thursday Mr Johnson imposed what he described as “the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen”.
Earlier today, Russian forces entered the Ukrainian capital Kiev, as the Ukraine Ministry of Defence urged civilians to resist.