Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is extremely skeptical of the possibility of achieving peace in Ukraine as long as the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin remains in power.
Johnson voiced the sentiment during his address at the Annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES), titled “The Future Is Being Decided in Ukraine.” The event, organized by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, was held in Kyiv on Sept. 8-9.
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“A peaceful solution with Putin cannot be achieved,” Johnson said.
Johnson stressed that it was imperative for the world to demonstrate the efficacy of democratic values and freedom. To achieve this, he said the Western nations must provide unwavering support to defend Ukraine until the last Russian soldier exits its territory.
According to Johnson, Ukraine’s best security assurance lies in membership in NATO.
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“We need to have Ukraine in NATO as fast as possible,” Johnson said. “What works is NATO. It has proved that it works. The argument was that Putin might get provoked, but look what has happened without NATO. Only Ukraine’s membership of the alliance is a long-term solution for the Russian problem.”
The former UK Prime Minister also called on Ukraine’s Western partners to intensify sanctions against Russia and transfer $300 billion of frozen Russian funds to Ukraine for reconstruction.
“We always end up giving what is needed but we always do it months and months too late,” Johnson said.
“My question to friends from other Western countries is simply ‘why are we waiting?’ Get on with it now and we will save lives and bring this disastrous conflict to an end.”
After his visit to Kyiv, Johnson traveled to Lviv, arriving via the Intercity+ train from the Ukrainian capital, alongside regular passengers. This visit marked Johnson’s fifth trip to Ukraine by train.
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In Lviv, Johnson, in the company of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, paid tribute to Ukraine’s fallen defenders and the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred at a memorial in Lviv.
Later, Johnson visited Ivan Franko Lviv National University, where he had been bestowed with an honorary doctorate in October of the previous year. The former UK Prime Minister personally accepted this honorary title, as confirmed by Maxim Kozytskyi, the head of the Lviv Oblast Military Administration.
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