Ukraine Crisis Escalation Forces Boris Johnson to Cancel Visit to Japan, Reports Say
TOKYO (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off his first official visit to Japan, scheduled for mid-February, over escalating tensions around Ukraine, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Monday, citing diplomatic sources.
Tokyo and London were making preparations for Johnson's trip to Japan, however, the United Kingdom suggested that the visit should be cancelled, several sources specified to the news agency.
On Saturday, Japanese media reported that during the visit, Johnson was planning to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss steps to tackle the pandemic and measures to create a carbon-free society, as well as the Ukrainian crisis. The meeting would be the second one after the officials' private talks at the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021.
On Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss said that she was going to pay a visit to Ukraine in the coming days and added that London is cooperating with its allies to impose coordinated sanctions against Russia in the event of further escalation around Ukraine.
© REUTERS / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICEService members fire a salute during a ceremony in tribute to fallen defenders of Ukraine, including the soldiers killed during a battle with pro-Russian rebels for the Donetsk airport this day in 2015, at a memorial near the headquarters of the Defence Ministry in Kyiv, Ukraine January 20, 2022.
Service members fire a salute during a ceremony in tribute to fallen defenders of Ukraine, including the soldiers killed during a battle with pro-Russian rebels for the Donetsk airport this day in 2015, at a memorial near the headquarters of the Defence Ministry in Kyiv, Ukraine January 20, 2022.
© REUTERS / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
Western countries have accused Russia of preparing an "invasion" of Ukraine, citing the buildup of troops at the border. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the allegation, saying that it has the right to move its troops within its sovereign territory and that it is not planning to attack any country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia does not rule out the possibility that the West purposefully "pumps up hysteria" around Ukraine trying to make a provocation. The top diplomat also assumed that the "hysteria" is being promoted to cover up Kiev's breach of the Minsk agreements on the peace process in the breakaway Donbass region.