PM says there is ‘still chance to avoid Ukraine bloodshed’

Boris Johnson has urged world leaders to pursue a diplomatic route to prevent a conflict in eastern Europe, adding: there is “still a chance to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but it will require an overwhelming display of western solidarity beyond anything we have seen in recent history”.

“Allies need to speak with one voice to stress to President Putin the high price he will pay for any further Russian invasion of Ukraine. Diplomacy can still prevail,” he added.

The PM’s comments come as he heads to Germany for the Munich Security Conference. The Munich Security Conference is the world’s largest annual gathering of international leaders and foreign policy experts.

Speaking yesterday, US President Joe Biden said he was “convinced” Vladimir Putin’s forces will launch an invasion “within days”, beginning with an attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Mr Biden also blasted Russian state media allegations of attacks in eastern Ukraine, calling the reports “phoney” and that they were “consistent” with Russian schemes for a false flag operation to “bait” Ukraine into war.