British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a press conference on the third and final day of the G7 summit in Biarritz, on August 26, 2019.
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
- Boris Johnson on Sunday said a Putin victory in Ukraine would be “absolutely catastrophic.”
- On CNN, he said that sending aid to Ukraine was “a price worth paying for democracy and freedom.”
- Johnson is engaging with other leaders, including President Biden, at the G7 summit in Germany.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said that allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to succeed in his invasion of Ukraine would be “absolutely catastrophic.”
Johnson made the remarks while appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” only hours after Russia launched more missile attacks in Kyiv.
The British leader told anchor Jake Tapper that Western nations needed to maintain their resolve in assisting Ukraine in their efforts to stave off further advances by Russian military forces, even with oil prices remaining elevated across much of the world, including the US.
“I would just say to people in the United States that this is something that America historically does and has to do, and that is to step up for peace and freedom and democracy,” he said. “And if we let Putin get away with it, and just annex, conquer sizable parts of a free, independent, sovereign country, which is what he is poised to do … then the consequences for the world are absolutely catastrophic.”
Johnson and other Group of Seven (G7) world leaders arrived in Germany’s Bavarian Alps this weekend and are set to continue mapping out their approach to handling Russia’s aggression.
US President Joe Biden on Sunday announced that the G7 would bar gold imports from Russia in order to cut off another revenue stream that could be used to continue funding their invasion, according to The Washington Post.
However, as energy costs rise globally, G7 leaders are also contending with their resolve in maintaining sanctions against Russia — especially as consumers and workers have grown increasingly frustrated by higher costs compared to a year ago.
Johnson has been a staunch ally to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the conflict, even visiting Kyiv twice to meet with the leader.
The British prime minister cautioned that allowing Russia to succeed in its mission would create more challenges in the future.
“You can see the consequences, the lessons that will be drawn,” he told CNN. “That is what is ultimately disastrous, not just for democracy and for the independence of countries, but for economic stability.”
Johnson emphasized that funding for Ukraine from Western nations, including billions in US aid, was “a price worth paying for democracy and freedom.”
He also said that the crackdown on political opposition in Russia has allowed Putin to pursue his ambitions unchecked.
“Do you really think that Vladimir Putin would have launched an invasion of another sovereign country if he’d had people to listen to, properly arguing, if he’d had a committee of backbenchers?” he asked.
And Johnson opined that he didn’t feel as though American democracy was in peril, despite the political turmoil caused by the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
“I think that reports of the death of democracy in the United States are grossly, grossly exaggerated,” he told Tapper. “America is a shining city on a hill for me, and it will continue to be so.”