SEAMLESS

She said the UK had a "very strong package of sanctions ready to go" and called for Germany's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia to be cancelled in the event of an incursion into Ukraine, saying she was "very, very concerned" about Europe's energy dependence on Russia.

US President Joe Biden held a video conference with EU leaders, the Nato secretary general and Mr Johnson on Monday evening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Russia that invading Ukraine would be "disastrous" and a "painful, violent and bloody business".

"The intelligence is very clear that there are 60 Russian battle groups on the borders of Ukraine, the plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv is one that everybody can see", he said, “ We need to make it very clear to the Kremlin, to Russia, that that would be a disastrous step. ” He added that any such incursion would be resisted by Ukraine and "from a Russian perspective, ( it ) is going to be a painful, violent and bloody business", he said.

"I think it's very important that people in Russia understand that this could be a new Chechnya."

The Prime Minister said that on the basis of a previous visit to Ukraine, his judgement was "they will fight".

earlier, no 10 said there were no plans to send british combat troops to defend ukraine.

"But also, to the international community, to NATO allies in the West, we 're standing shoulder to shoulder saying there will be very serious consequences if Russia takes this move to try and invade and also install a puppet regime."

"He emphasised the need to support Ukraine's defences against the full spectrum of malign Russian activity.

"the leaders agreed that, should a further russian incursion into ukraine happen, allies must enact swift retributive responses including an unprecedented package of sanctions."

He said the UK was "leading on creating a package of economic sanctions" against Russia and was supplying defensive weaponry to Ukraine.

"i don't think it ’ s by any means inevitable now, i think that sense can still prevail."

the us has put 8,500 troops on high alert to deploy to europe as nato reinforced its eastern borders with warships and fighter jets, amid growing fears of a possible "lightning" attack by russia to seize the ukrainian capital, kyiv.

Moscow is demanding a guarantee that Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, never be allowed to join Nato, as well as other concessions by the United States in return for a decrease in tension.

the kremlin has accused nato aggressive posturing, blaming nato for the rise in tensions with the move.

EU staff in Ukraine will stay in place for now- EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he would not "dramatize" the tensions.

On Sunday and Monday the White House and Downing Street said they had started withdrawing diplomats' families from Ukraine.

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss has said she would visit Ukraine next week, as she warned Russian president Vladimir Putin of a military "quagmire" if he decides to invade the sovereign territory.

Ms Truss also suggested that Germany should "step up" its military support to Ukraine after the UK provided defensive weapons and helped train 20,000 troops in the country.

She said any Russian military incursion would be a "massive strategic mistake" with “ severe cost ”.

nato said on monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern europe with more ships and fighter jets.

The "bulk of" the thousands of US troops placed on heightened alert are planned to bolster the 40,000 multinational Nato troops already in a number of eastern European countries near the border with Russia, according to the Pentagon.

Some Russian-military linked figures have already moved across the border in Ukraine, according to British defence minister James Heappey.

Speaking as the Foreign Office pulled some embassy staff out of Ukraine, the PM said the situation was "pretty gloomy" but war was not inevitable.

The head of Nato has warned of a risk of fresh conflict in Europe.

The US has ordered relatives of its embassy staff to leave, saying an invasion could come "at any time".

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the British Embassy in Kyiv continued to operate but "it's important that we prepare for any eventuality".

But she said : "We are going to call out every instance of Russia trying to influence democracy, trying to subvert Ukraine, false flag operations and sabotage.

There is certainly a very, very large array of Russian forces and we have to take the necessary steps.

He was due to speak to international allies on Monday.

Russia has seized Ukrainian territory before, when it annexed Crimea in 2014, following fierce protests in Ukraine that toppled the country's pro-Russian president.

Russian-backed rebels control areas of eastern Ukraine near Russia's borders in a conflict which has cost an estimated 14,000 lives.

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