Outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson warns that the UK must “endure a tough winter” in order to keep supporting Ukraine.
Johnson said the West must “stay the course” on Ukraine despite rising living costs.
“If we’re paying in our energy bills for the evils of Vladimir Putin, the people of Ukraine are paying in their blood” he said during a visit to Kyiv.
The Prime Minister made his final visit in Ukraine on Tuesday to mark Independence Day, which marks 31 years of Ukraine’s independence from Russia following the collapse Soviet Union.
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In a press conference, Johnson outlined why he believes it is so important that the UK ‘takes the hit’ with energy bills in order to show solidarity with Ukraine:
“Putin will manipulate Russian energy supplies to try to torment households across Europe. And our first test, as friends of Ukraine, will be to face-down and endure that pressure- to help consumers but also build our own supplies.”
“I believe that as we come through winter, our position will strengthen.”
“And with every week, Putin’s position will weaken. His leverage will diminish.”
Johnson said that global support to Ukraine was “growing” and that Putin “underestimated the price the world was willing to pay to support Ukraine”. However, reports have indicated that European countries are losing support for Ukraine as rising energy costs have harmed the global economic system.
The UK’s inflation rate will reach a record 13.3% this year, a record for the country. However, the economy is expected shrink. The Bank of England claims the main reason for the increase in inflation is rising energy costs, triggered by Ukraine’s invasion.
There is concern that many in the UK will not be able to carry-on and just “endure” the crisis as Johnson suggests, as it is predicted that up to 40% of Brits could be swept into poverty this autumn.
Many countries suspect that Putin is using fuel as a ‘weapon’ against the West and limiting supplies in response to sanctions. Russia is a major global energy supplier.
During this trip, Johnson also set out a further £54 million of military aid to Zelensky and was awarded Ukraine’s Order of Liberty by their president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The UK is a major benefactor of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. It has also imposed sanctions against Russian targets that are connected to the war.