Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Boris Johnson: Europe on brink of largest conflict since Second World War

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine could lead to the largest conflict in Europe since the Second World War, the prime minister has warned.

Boris Johnson said he wants people to “understand the sheer cost in human life” that an incursion into the country would bring, as he continued to urge Moscow to engage in peace talks.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said there is a responsibility on people across the Western world to deliver a “very clear message” that time has not run out on diplomacy.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford

“The pressure needs to be turned up and my message, along with everyone else thing morning, to President Putin, is to draw back,” Mr Blackford said.

“No one wants to see the bloodshed, the horror, that could be unleashed on the people of Ukraine, who we all must stand with.”

‘Putin won’t stop at Ukraine’

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not stop at Ukraine” as she argued he is looking to piece the Soviet Union back together.

The comments came as Ukraine’s military said two soldiers died on Saturday as violence escalated in the east of the country between government forces and rebels.

There are growing fears Russia could use the increase in tensions in the separatist-held region as a pretext for an attack.

Vladimir Putin.

Boris Johnson spent Saturday engaged in diplomatic efforts to avoid war as he warned the Kremlin during a speech at the Munich Security Conference of increased financial sanctions if Mr Putin orders troops across the border.

He also told broadcasters he believes Russia’s invasion plan is “in motion”, with the aggression in the Donbas region potentially a “prelude to bigger action”.

‘The biggest war in Europe since 1945’

Mr Johnson warned the type of the offensive being prepared by Moscow has not been seen for almost 80 years.

He told BBC News: “The plan that we’re seeing is for something that could be the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale.

“You’re looking at not just an invasion through the east through the Donbas, but according to the intelligence we are seeing, coming down from the north, down from Belarus and actually encircling Kyiv itself, as Joe Biden explained to a lot of us last night.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I think a lot of people need to understand the sheer cost in human life that that could entail, not just for Ukrainians but for Russians.”

Asked whether a Russian invasion was still thought to be imminent, Mr Johnson said: “I’m afraid that that is what the evidence points to. There’s no burnishing it.”

Liz Truss said the West must “stop” Moscow in its tracks or else Mr Putin would look to “turn the clock back to the mid-1990s or even before then”.

She said he could look to annex the Baltic States – such as Estonia and Latvia – and the Western Balkans, which includes Serbia and Albania.

Not just a foreign quarrel for UK

Home Secretary Priti Patel warned a conflict between Moscow and Kyiv would “not just be a foreign quarrel about which we know little”.

The Cabinet minister said the “effects would be felt here too” given the UK has previously experienced Russian cyber “interference” against its media, telecommunications and energy infrastructure.

Home Secretary Priti Patel

Boris Johnson held talks with a number of European leaders while in Bavaria, including Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

During his speech to the annual summit, Mr Zelenskyy was critical of what he called “appeasement” by the West in the face of Russian aggression.

“We have the right to demand to move from the appeasement policy to ensuring the guarantees of security,” he said, in a translation offered by the conference.

Mr Zelenskyy also questioned why western leaders were waiting for Russia to invade before applying sanctions, given 150,000 of Moscow’s troops are amassed on his country’s border.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal