While Johnson was speaking, Putin signed a decree recognising the independence of the two breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which broke away from Kyiv’s control in 2014. Read full story
“I gather just as I came into this press conference that Vladimir Putin has effectively announced that Russia is recognising the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is plainly in breach of international law. It’s a … flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine,” Johnson told a press conference.
“It is a repudiation of the Minsk process and the Minsk agreements, and I think it’s a very ill omen and a very dark sign.”
Johnson said he will talk with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk on Monday and would offer Britain’s support.
When asked whether it was now time to impose sanctions on Russia, Johnson said he would have to wait and see what happened in eastern Ukraine.
“What I have said before about the package of sanctions is that they will be triggered with the first toecap of a Russian incursion or Russian invasion. But plainly what has happened is extremely bad news,” he said.
“It is becoming clear that we’re going to need to start applying as much pressure as we possibly can because it is hard to see how this situation improves.”