UK

Boris Johnson says ‘Ukraine must join Nato’

Speaking at a conservative event in Canada, Mr Johnson also warned Donald Trump and Republicans in the US against appeasing Vladimir Putin.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson
Former prime minister Boris Johnson (Andrew Boyers/PA)

Boris Johnson has called for Ukraine to be allowed to join Nato and be given the right tools for its fight against Russia.

Speaking at a conservative event in Canada, the former prime minister also warned against appeasing Russian president Vladimir Putin

“The resolution to this problem is the security and the stability that comes with certainty about where Ukraine is and what Ukraine is,” he told an event at the Canada Strong and Free Networking Conference in Ottawa, where he appeared alongside former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott.

“Ukraine has chosen to be a free, independent European nation oriented towards the west, towards the EU, towards Nato.

“And Ukraine must join Nato. That is the only logical way through this.”

He said fears such a move would provoke Mr Putin could not prevent action.

“We tried that … and look where that left us,” he said. “With the worst war in Europe for 80 years.

“Nato is the body that gives certainty and stability and will bring peace. But in the meantime, give those Ukrainians what they need.”

He described Ukraine as a “formidable fighting force” and said they have often been supplied with “the right stuff at the wrong time, in other words, too late”.

“The Ukrainians will do the job if we give them the tools. Let’s give them the tools,” he said.

“They have shown they are a proud, independent nation and they are going to fight for freedom. What we need to do is keep supporting Ukraine, keep supporting freedom.”

Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington (Kevin Wolf/AP)
Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington (Kevin Wolf/AP) (Kevin Wolf/AP)

Mr Johnson warned Donald Trump, who hopes to return to the White House following November’s US election, against a reported plan to pressure Ukraine to cede Crimea and the Donbas border region as a price for peace with Russia.

“If you are the party of Ronald Reagan, if you want to make America great again, then you don’t begin a new Republican presidency … by conceding victory to Vladimir Putin,” Mr Johnson said.

“It would be a disaster for the West and it would be a disaster for America.”

His comments come after Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron stepped up calls for the US to release billions of dollars of extra funding for Ukraine.

Lord Cameron said a funding package held up in Congress by political wrangling would be good for US security and jobs and show the West was prepared to stand up against “bullies”.

But Lord Cameron told CNN during his visit to Washington: “Everyone wants to see an end to the killing and an end to the war. But you only get that by backing Ukraine, by showing strength.

“Peace comes through strength, not through appeasement and weakness.”