PMQ Live: Boris Johnson faces calls for tougher action on Russia | Ukraine in a state of emergency | US says Biden-Putin meeting no longer possible

The UK government defends a “very serious package” of British sanctions against Russia, arguing that it will be effective in “pain” Vladimir Putin.

The prime minister faced criticism from all sides for not going far enough when he announced his measures on Tuesday.

He announced that three billionaire allies of the Russian president and five Russian banks were facing punitive measures.

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At a press conference, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the 351 members of the Russian State Duma who “voted (for) this violation of international law” would be subject to sanctions.

He said that in addition to the measures, “27 individuals and legal entities that play a role in undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” will be involved.

The White House says President Biden will no longer hold a summit with Vladimir Putin, as discussed over the weekend.

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Conflict in Ukraine: Boris Johnson holds emergency meeting in response to crisis as…

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, recognizing them as independent states.

The footage released at night shows how Russian military equipment is heading towards the border with Ukraine.

You can follow updates on our live blog.

Last update: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 11:42 am

  • PM will answer questions at 12
  • Ukraine in a state of emergency
  • UK imposes sanctions against Russian banks and billionaires

What should we expect from PMQ today?

The situation in Ukraine is likely to be on the agenda.

On Tuesday, Sir Keir Starmer said he welcomed the sanctions announced by the prime minister, but added that “we must be prepared to go further.”

Sir Keir said the “threshold has already been crossed” when Mr. Putin declared parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine separatist states and sent troops into the country.

“A sovereign nation has been invaded by an aggressive war based on lies and fabrications. If we don’t respond now with a full set of sanctions, Putin will once again deprive us of the message that the benefits of aggression outweigh the costs,” the Labor leader said.

He proposed “excluding Russia from financial mechanisms like Swift and we should ban trading in Russian sovereign debt” and suggested that Russia Today “should not allow its propaganda to be broadcast around the world.”

Sir Keir added that “Russian money has been allowed to influence our policies” and called for “an end to the impunity of the oligarchs” in the UK.

The prime minister told MPs on Tuesday: “This is the first tranche, the first flurry of what we are ready to do, and we keep further sanctions ready to be applied.”

The assets of five banks were frozen, as well as three Russian billionaires, who will also be banned from entering the UK.

Boris Johnson called Russia’s actions a “resumption of the invasion.”

It is likely that Covid plans will also be discussed.

Mr Johnson announced the lifting of all Covid restrictions in England, including the need to self-isolate after testing positive. The provision of free sidestream trials will also stop from April.

Last week, Sir Keir called the end of free testing a “mistake”.

Daily Scotsman bulletin before PMQ

Boris Johnson to address Prime Minister in less than an hour

Johnson will be asked questions by MPs at noon this afternoon amid growing concern over the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson briefs MPs on the latest situation in Ukraine in the House of Commons. Photo: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament via AP.

BREAKING: Ukraine will declare a state of emergency

A state of emergency will be declared in Ukraine, officials at the country’s National Security Council have been told.

High-ranking security official Alexei Danilov said that a state of emergency would be introduced in all regions except Donetsk and Lugansk.

Mr Donoghue said the full details of the EU sanctions would be announced on Wednesday afternoon.

“An element of this will be to rupture and challenge the links between finance and the capital markets of the European Union and Russia. So there will be elements of what will be included in the package of measures that will be confirmed by the European Union later today,” he said.

Asked by RTE radio about Ireland’s role in the sanctions package, he replied: “If the country has a large financial services sector and appreciates it, and we do it here in Ireland – it’s really a big employer in the Irish economy – it doesn’t matter. mean that we have international capital and international money in Ireland, and, yes, there is indeed a certain level of Russian capital that is traded in and out of our IFSC. [International Financial Services Centre]”.

Details of EU and Irish sanctions against Russia will be confirmed later on Wednesday, the finance minister said.

Pascal Donoghue said he understands business concerns as the EU, UK and US begin imposing punitive sanctions on Russia following a severe escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.

The sanctions came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops into breakaway regions of Ukraine, raising fears of a full-scale invasion of the independent country.

Ukraine will be in the center of attention of the UN General Assembly, which is meeting today in New York.

The Assembly will discuss “the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine” at around 15:00 UK time.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans “are not limited to Ukraine,” adding that “it is important that we strengthen NATO forces.”

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, she said: “The mood in Ukraine has changed a lot over the past 10 years against the Russian regime. Vladimir Putin will not be easy. They are ready to fight.

“I had talks with the Ukrainian government and we provided this support and training to Ukraine. This could go on, I’m afraid to say, for years – most likely, we will see a full-scale invasion, and Ukraine will go to war.

“I wanted to emphasize that it is important to strengthen the eastern flank of the NATO countries, to support the Baltic countries, to support other NATO members in order to fully protect their defense, because Putin’s plans are not limited to Ukraine. .

“That’s why it’s important that we see strong Ukrainian resistance, and that’s why it’s important that we strengthen NATO forces.”

Ukraine has begun conscription of military personnel of the reserve defense forces in accordance with the decree of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is estimated that about 900,000 people serve in the reserve defense forces of Ukraine.

Officials added that people who ignore the call could face “criminal liability.”

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