Boris Johnson says Brits must “endure” the energy crisis

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 to Ukraine on Tuesday in line with Independence Day, which marked 31 years since breaking away from Russian rule following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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, there have been reports of waning support among European countries as rising energy prices have damaged the global economy.

In the UK, the inflation rate is forecast to hit a 42-year high of 13.3% this year and the economy is expected to shrink. The Bank of England claim the main reason for this is rising energy bills, triggered by the invasion of Ukraine.

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 principle 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 one of the leading benefactors of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and has imposed sanctions on Russian targets that are linked to the war.