PM praises German efforts to end reliance on Russian gas
German chancellor Olaf Scholz and prime minister Boris Johnson have held a joint press conference in Downing Street this afternoon.
During the conference, Johnson condemned Russia’s “unconscionable” missile strike on Kramatorsk train station in Ukraine, where civilians were sheltering.
“It is a war crime indiscriminately to attack civilians. Russia’s crimes in Ukraine will not go unnoticed or unpunished,” he stressed, suggesting Putin’s forces could have committed a war crime.
He went on: “The attack at the train station in eastern Ukraine shows the depth to which Putin’s once vaunted army has sunk.
“At least 39 people killed and dozens wounded on a train platform crowded with women and children.
“It is a war crime indiscriminately to attack civilians and Russian crimes in Ukraine will not go unnoticed or unpunished.”
He also told reporters that he could not rule out sending tanks to Ukraine, saying that he would consider sending “anything by way of defensive weapons.. in principle.”
“I think it’s important that we should be giving equipment that is genuinely useful and is operable by Ukrainians, that’s our consideration,” he went on.
He also said he was thankful for the “huge steps” EU countries including Germany were “fast” taking to reduce dependence on Russian has supples.
Chancellor Scholz argued that his government was doing “all we [it] can” to root out Russian energy from its supply chains, but that a full decoupling would take twenty years.
Johnson then went on to avoid questions over Rishi Sunak’s wife’s “non-dom” tax status that have dominated today’s front pages.
“I would just stress that the chancellor, Rishi, is doing an absolutely outstanding job and, as far as possible, as I think I said yesterday, I don’t think people’s families should be dragged into this,” Johnson said. He denied allegations that No 10 may have briefed media with negative stories about the chancellor and his family.