UK to reopen embassy in Ukrainian capital, Boris Johnson says – politics live | Politics

UK to reopen embassy in Ukrainian capital, Johnson says

Johnson is up by himself now and is addressing the war in Ukraine. He denounces the “barbarism” being perpetrated by Putin’s forces and says the UK will be “sending more artillery” and will reopen the embassy in Kyiv.

Here’s a little more background to that question about ensuring no British-made arms end up in Russian hands via India. My colleagues Heather Stewart and Dan Sabbagh write:

Labor has said Boris Johnson should call for ‘urgent action’ from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi after an influential defense think tank warned this lunchtime that India was one of a number of major routes for arms smuggling to Russia.

The warning comes only a few hours after Johnson announced the UK would ease its arms exporting licensing arrangements with New Delhi by issuing an open general export license to India, meaning separate licenses are no longer needed for most arms sales.

John Healey, Labour’s shadow defense secretary, accused Johnson of going on a ‘vanity trip’ – but said he could use his visit to try and stop the illegal supply of western components highlighted by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) in a report out on Friday.

‘In discussions with Prime Minister Modi today he must press for urgent action to clamp down on weapons parts passing through India and into Russian hands,’ Healey said on the day that Johnson met with Modi in New Delhi. ‘He can use this report to help halt the Russian war in Ukraine.’

The Rusi report, a 26-page overview of Russia’s overall military situation, says western economic sanctions mean Moscow will become increasingly binding on component smuggling to ensure its jets, missiles and other high tech munitions can function. Some components have a dual civilian and military use.

Its authors – Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds – warn that ‘Russia has established mechanisms for laundering these items through third countries’. And they argue India should be subject to specific restrictions.

‘Restricting access, therefore, likely means preventing export to countries such as India of goods that are in some instances used for civilian purposes,’ they write. ‘Moreover, there are myriad companies based around the world, including in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, India and China who will take considerable risks to meet Russia supply requirements.’

That concludes the press conference. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that it was not, in fact a joint statement from the leaders of both the UK and India, as we erroneously reported earlier. Johnson was appearing alone at his own press conference.

Russian victory in Ukraine a real possibility, acknowledges Boris Johnson

Johnson acknowledges that a Russian military victory in Ukraine is a real possibility.

Putin has a huge army. [But] he has a very difficult political position because he’s made a catastrophic blunder. The only option he now has really is to continue to try to use his appalling, grinding approach – led by artillery – trying to grind the Ukrainians down. And he’s very close to securing a land bridge in Mariupol.

Now, the situation is, is I’m afraid, unpredictable at this stage. You’ve just got to be realistic about that.

But what we’ve also seen is the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians and their willingness to fight. And I’ll tell you something: I think, no matter what military superiority Vladimir Putin may be able to bring to bear in the next few months – and I agree it could be it could be a long period, he will not be able to conquer the spirit of the Ukrainian people.

That is just an observable fact. On the contrary, what he is doing every day is strengthening and reinforcing that will to resist in the people of Ukraine.

He adds:

We’ve got to look at what more we can do militarily. We’ve got to keep intensifying the economic sanctions. And that’s what we’re doing. We want to make sure that there is wave after wave of intensifying pressure on on Putin.

Johnson is asked what he’s going to do to prevent any UK-made arms do not end up in Russian hands via India.

Labor has urged Johnson to call for “urgent action” from Modi as an influential defense think tank warns India is one of several major routes for arms smuggling to Russia. Johnson replied:

One of the things that have been really effective in the sanctions that we’ve seen so far is the ban on tech transfer to to Russia and that really makes a difference … We’ll be making sure that we don’t allow any loopholes of any kind and we will take steps to make sure that stuff does not go through other routes to Russia.

Johnson is also asked what pressure he has exerted on New Delhi – and what more he will exert – to stand up to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The prime minister says:

I think you have to recognize that the the Indians, actually, and the render media in particular have have come out and been very strong in their language about what’s happened in Bucha.

It’s put to Johnson that his own spokesperson has acknowledged he did not pressure his Modi to strengthen his position against Vladimir Putin.

They can see what is going on and there is an increasing appetite to do more with the UK.

He lists several areas of cooperation and says: “That is being driven by contemporary events and I think it’s a positive thing.”

Boris Johnson says he will still be prime minister in October

Johnson is taking questions now. He’s asked if he will be even still be prime minister by Diwali. “Yes,” he replies. The question, in its substance is repeated, And Johnson tells reporters he believes he has covered the questions on his moral probity already.

Johnson talks up strengthening the ties between India and the UK, saying the former increasingly lies in the geopolitical center of the world. He sets out his vision for a trade agreement between the two nations to be completed by Diwali.

Indian investment already supports almost half a million British jobs and, with a population bigger than the US and the EU combined. there is so much potential for us to take our trade and investment to a whole new level.

On this visit alone, we’ve secured new deals worth £1bn; creating more than 11,000 jobs.

And, perhaps most significantly of all, we’re using our Brexit freedoms to reach a bilateral free trade agreement.

And, today, Prime Minister Modi and I told our negotiators to get it done by Diwali in October. This could double our trade and investment by the end of the decade.

UK to reopen embassy in Ukrainian capital, Johnson says

Johnson is up by himself now and is addressing the war in Ukraine. He denounces the “barbarism” being perpetrated by Putin’s forces and says the UK will be “sending more artillery” and will reopen the embassy in Kyiv.

Johnson and Modi are about to give a joint statement. We’ll bring you live updates as they come.

Johnson’s authority is “draining away” as he is losing support from within the Conservatives, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle has said. He told Sky News:

Yew [No 10] had the numbers they would have defeated the motion yesterday.

They actually put forward a wrecking amendment on the day to try and scupper the whole thing, and yet they couldn’t even, with a majority of 80. get that through. So they pulled it out last minute.

That means there isn’t even enough Tory MPs who believe that Boris Johnson is truthful to actually get them to walk through the lobby to say so.

You could feel yesterday the authority of Boris Johnson and his government draining away.

And, conversely, when you see the three performances this week of Keir Starmer and the three performances of Boris Johnson, I think it’s quite clear who is making the running, who is leading right now, and who is leading a party which is unified, and has ideas beyond partygate; about how to tackle the challenges in the economy, in public services, and how to tackle crime.

There is “no question” of Boris Johnson standing down over the partygate row, the Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns has claimed.

Johnson is growing facing calls from some Tory MPs to stand down after MPs decided on Thursday that he should face a new investigation into whether he misled Parliament. But Burns told Sky News:

There is no question of the prime minister going. He remains confident that, when people can see the full context of what happened, it will be clear that he was straightforward, he said to the House in good faith that he believed the rules were followed.

He is looking forward to this ending. He is looking forward to drawing this to a conclusion, for it to be examined fully so that we can move on to the things people are genuinely concerned about.

Johnson initially issued a blanket denial of any wrongdoing in No 10, then claimed he had been told no parties had even taken place. He later admitted personally attending the parties but has claimed none of this amounted to an attempt to mislead the Commons; an offense for which a minister would be expected to resign.

Here’s a full recount of Boris Johnson’s shifting story:

Crisis deepens for Boris Johnson after parliament votes for inquiry into allegations he lied

The focus remains on the allegations of dishonesty and impropriety on the part of the Boris Johnsonwhich critics both in opposition and in his own party have said make him unfit to be prime minister.

Here’s a brief look at what we expect today:

  • Johnson is braced for further questions about what he knew about lockdown parties in No 10 after MPs ordered a third investigation into the Partygate affair on Thursday.
  • The prime minister is in India, where he is meeting his counterpart, Narendra Modi, for talks. Johnson noted he would not get the same “fantastic welcome” everywhere as his domestic worries deepened. He is due to give a press conference at about 11.30am BST.
  • Amid rumors of a ministerial reshuffle, Johnson has promised Rishi Sunak will still be chancellor in the autumn, but refused to guarantee a job for the home secretary, Priti Patel.

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