Brexit LIVE: EU fumes at UK for dramatising Russia-Ukraine row in bitter attack

Liz Truss: Russia face sanctions if Ukraine invaded

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The UK and US have withdrawn diplomats from their embassies in Kiev, Ukraine, amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion. Both the EU and Ukraine slammed this decision as premature and a display of excessive caution, casting doubts over how imminent an attack could be from the 100,000 Russian troops amassed at the border. Josep Borrell, the EU’s top foreign diplomat, accused the UK and US of “dramatising” the situation, saying: “You have to stay calm doing what you have to do, and avoid a nervous breakdown. We are not going to do the same thing, because we do not know any specific reasons.” Mr Borrell’s comments come as Maros Sefcovic prepares to deliver a speech on Tuesday on the progress made on renegotiating a deal with Foreign Secretary and chief Brexit negotiator Liz Truss. 

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Johnson video-calls EU and US to plan Ukraine defence

Boris Johnson held a video call last night with US President Joe Biden, along with the leaders of Italy, Poland, France, Germany, the European Council, the European Commission and NATO.

Downing Street said the leaders “agreed on the importance of international unity in the face of growing Russian hostility,” while stressing that “diplomatic discussions with Russia remain the first priority.”

Mr Johnson “emphasised the need to support Ukraine’s defences against the full spectrum of malign Russian activity.”

The leaders agreed that should a further Russian incursion into Ukraine take place, “allies must enact swift retributive responses including an unprecedented package of sanctions.

“They resolved to continue coordinating closely on any such response.”

‘We will take stock again by the end of the week,’ said Maros

Maros Sefcovic has praised the “constructive” nature of the discussions between himself and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. 

The pair, tasked with renegotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol, held their second meeting in Brussels on January 24.

They agreed that officials would meet again this week, “taking stock” at political level next week.

Liz Truss defends UK withdrawal of diplomats

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has defended the decision to withdraw diplomats from Kyiv, Ukraine, amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion. 

Speaking after meeting Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general in Brussels, Ms Truss said: “Our embassy is operating and doing all the work it needs to do, but it is important that we prepare for any eventuality and there are very worrying signs about what could happen.”

The UK was at the “forefront” of providing support, she insisted.

This support includes both defensive weapons and financial support, to Ukraine.

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TaraFair_

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