The UK has called for its European allies to do more in assisting Ukraine fight off Russian aggression, with defence secretary Ben Wallace calling for a “stronger signal” from Germany in particular.
Wallace began a tour of the UK’s European allies today in a bid to strengthen the response to the crisis from other Nato members.
The UK and US have been among the most generous countries in sending military aid to Ukraine as it faces a potential Russian invasion.
Both countries are also mulling over sending thousands of troops to Eastern European Nato countries, with calls for other western countries to do similarly.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has been criticised in the UK for his response to the crisis, with western leaders calling on him to provide more military aid to Ukraine and to condemn Vladimir Putin more forcefully.
Wallace said Germany, who rely heavily on Russian energy supplies, needed to include cancelling the Nord stream 2 gas pipeline in a list of potential sanctions against the Kremlin.
“What we want from Germany, as the biggest economy in Europe, is a stronger signal on sanctions,” Wallace said.
“Nord Stream 2 is a genuine piece of leverage we should use for the greater benefit of all of Europe.”
Foreign secretary Liz Truss added: “By showing Putin we’re united, we will help deter a Russian incursion.”
There are more than 100,000 Russian troops stationed along the Ukrainian border, with many pundits fearing that Putin is poised to order an invasion of the former Soviet Union state.
One of Putin’s key asks in diplomatic talks with the west is a guarantee that Ukraine will not be allowed to join Nato – a request that has been denied by the US and others.
US President Joe Biden warned Putin that he could face personal financial sanctions if he mounts an attack on Ukraine.
He added that an invasion would pose “enormous consequences worldwide” and could amount to “the largest invasion since World War Two”.
Moscow denies that it is planning an assault on its neighbour.