PMQs: Boris Johnson says UK will send further military support to Ukraine in face of growing crisis

Boris Johnson was quizzed about sanctions against Russia and the Ukraine crisis during PMQs

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Boris Johnson has said further military aid would be sent to the country “in light of the increasingly threatening behaviour” from Russia.

The Ukraine crisis dominated PMQs on Wednesday, with Boris Johnson saying the UK is “out in front” when it comes to sanctions against Russia in a bid to “hit Putin where it hurts”.

Mr Johnson said lethal defensive weapons and non-lethal aid would be sent to the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

What did Boris Johnson say about the Ukraine crisis?

The UK has already sent anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian military to help counter the threat posed by Russian forces ringed around the country’s borders.

The Prime Minister said: “In light of the increasingly threatening behaviour from Russia, and in line with our previous support, the UK will shortly be providing a further package of military support to Ukraine.

“This will include lethal aid in the form of defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.”

He also said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has asked regulator Ofcom to review the operation of the Russia Today news channel, Boris Johnson has told the Commons.

What did Keir Starmer ask about increasing sanctions?

The Prime Minister said “even more” sanctions against Russia are coming when pressed to “unleash a full package” of measures by Sir Keir Starmer.

Labour leader Sir Keir said: “We all want to deter aggression in Europe. We are not dealing with breakaway republics. Putin is not a peacekeeper, a sovereign nation has been invaded.

“The Prime Minister promised that in the event of an invasion he would unleash a full package of sanctions. If not now, then when?”

Boris Johnson replied: “I don’t think people quite realise the UK is out in front, we have sanctioned 275 individuals already.

“Yesterday we announced measures that place banks worth £37 billion under sanctions in addition to more oligarchs. There is more to come and we will be stopping Russia from raising sovereign debt, stopping companies from raising money and stopping Russian companies … even clearing in sterling and dollars on international markets.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking in the House of Commons.Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking in the House of Commons.
Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking in the House of Commons.

What was said about Russian oligarchs and donations?

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on the Conservative Party to return £2.3 million “raised from Russian oligarchs”.

He told the Commons: “The truth is that Russian oligarchs who give the right people in power a golden handshake have been welcomed into London for years. Their activities weren’t stopped, they were encouraged.

“Plenty of these golden handshakes just so happened to find their way into the coffers of the Conservative Party, £2.3 million in fact, since the Prime Minister took office.”

He added: “How can our allies trust this Prime Minister to clean up dirty Russian money in the UK when he won’t even clean up his own political party. Will he finally commit to giving up the £2.3 million his party has raised from Russian oligarchs?”

The Prime Minister said: “We do not raise money from Russian oligarchs … we raise money from people who are registered to vote on the UK register of interests.”

What was said about Russia Today and Alex Salmond?

It is a “disgrace” that former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond appears on Russian state broadcaster RT, the Prime Minister agreed.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) said: “Let’s be quite clear about this. Is it not absolute disgrace that a privy councillor, an adviser to the Queen and a former first minister of Scotland sees fit to broadcast his half-baked views week to week on Russian television?”

Boris Johnson replied: “That was a brilliant, powerful question to which I think the whole House assented. Would it not have been more powerful if it had come from the leader of the Scottish National Party?”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford later raised a point of order to correct the record, saying: “Twice in Prime Minister’s Questions the Prime Minister referred to Alex Salmond and talked about him being one of our own here. That is quite disgraceful. Alex Salmond has got nothing to do with the Scottish National Party.”

He added: “He is a member of another party and moreover the SNP has been quite clear that no parliamentarian is permitted to appear on RT. To be traduced in the way that we were by the Prime Minister is simply unacceptable.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “You have absolutely put it on record. He is no longer leader of the SNP, that was many years ago. He is now a member of the Alba party as I understand it. It has now been corrected and I am sure everyone is aware.”

This article will continue to be updated

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