Biden and Johnson say there is still hope for Ukraine crisis
The US President and UK Prime Minister have said not all hope is lost for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis.
They have warned however that the situation remains fragile.
In a 40-minute call, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson agreed a deal was still possible despite warnings of Russian military action being imminent.
Russia has consistently denied plans to invade Ukraine, despite massing more than 100,000 troops on the border.
On Monday its foreign minister said diplomacy was “far from exhausted”.
More than a dozen nations have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine, and the US has said aerial bombardments could begin “at any time”.
However, according to a statement from Downing Street, Mr Biden and Mr Johnson said there remained a “crucial window” for diplomacy and for Russia to step back from its threats towards Ukraine.
“The leaders emphasised that any further incursion into Ukraine would result in a protracted crisis for Russia, with far-reaching damage for both Russia and the world,” the statement added.
Mr Johnson reportedly said that the UK was prepared to do everything it could to help, to which Mr Biden responded: “We’re not going anywhere without you pal.”
Mr Johnson is expected to hold a Cobra meeting later on today discuss the UK’s response to the pressures.
This morning the Russian Military of Defense said that some Russian troops would be leaving Ukraine’s border after completing a “number of exercises”.
However, the majority are still carrying out exercises on land and sea.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, chief spokesman for the Russian MoD, said: “As the combat training measures are completed, the troops, as always, will return to their points of permanent deployment.
“The units of the Southern and Western military districts, having completed their tasks, have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and will begin moving to their military garrisons today.
“Separate units will return on their own as part of military columns.”
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