Ukraine's President Says Britain's 'Severe' Sanctions On Russia Do Not Go Far Enough

Volodymyr Zelensky tells Boris Johnson the world must do more to defend his country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv earlier this month
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv earlier this month
Peter Nicholls via PA Wire/PA Images

Britain’s sanctions against Russia do not go far enough, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

The Ukrainian leader delivered the blunt message in a phone call with Boris Johnson this morning.

Johnson yesterday hailed the sanctions - including an asset freeze against all major Russian banks and banning Russia state from raising money on the UK’s financial markets - as “the largest and most severe” ever seen.

But in a tweet following his call with the prime minister, Zelensky made clear that he wants the UK to go even further.

He said: “We demand effective counteraction to the Russian Federation. Sanctions must be further strengthened.”

In their own statement following the call between the pair, Downing Street made no reference to sanctions.

A spokesperson said the PM had expressed “his solidarity with Ukraine”.

They added: “President Zelenskyy updated the Prime Minister on the most recent Russian military ad, including missile and artillery strikes on Ukrainian cities and the terrible developments in Kyiv in the early hours of this morning.

“The Prime Minister assured President Zelenskyy that the world is united in its horror at what Putin his doing. He paid tribute to the bravery and heroism of the Ukrainian people in standing up to Russia’s campaign of violence, and expressed his deep condolences for those who have been killed.

“The Prime Minister committed to provide further UK support to Ukraine in the coming days as the people of Ukraine and the world continue to demonstrate that Putin cannot act with impunity.”

In all, Johnson announced 10 new measures aimed at “hobbling” the Russian economy - on top of separate sanctions the government unveiled earlier in the week.

He said: “We will continue on a remorseless mission to squeeze Russia from the global economy piece by piece, day by day and week by week.”

Zelensky’s intervention came as Russia carries out a full-scale assault on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Western officials believe Vladimir Putin is intent on overthrowing the Ukrainian government and replacing it with a pro-Moscow puppet regime.

Earlier this morning, defence secretary Ben Wallace said Russia had failed in its initial military objectives.

He told Sky News: “Our assessment as of this morning is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives. In fact, it is beyond its hoped-for timetable.

“They’ve lost over 450 personnel and one of the significant airports they were trying to capture with their elite Spetsnaz has failed to be taken, and in fact the Ukrainians have taken it back.

“So I think, contrary to great Russian claims and President Putin’s vision that somehow the Ukrainians would be liberated and would be flocking to his cause, he’s got that completely wrong and the Russian army has failed to deliver on day one its main objective.”


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