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Russia 'will not forget' UK support for Ukraine and warns of 'tough retaliatory measures'

The Russian foreign ministry has promised that it “will not forget” Britain’s support for Ukraine in the conflict as the world tips closer to all-out war. Russian media has also stated that it is furious at the sanctions that Boris Johnson has hit Russia with, which includes preventing certain Russian banks from accessing pound sterling.

The UK government has also pushed for all Russian banks to removed from the SWIFT international payment system, rather than just some as is currently the case.

Spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry Maria Zakharova made a thinly veiled statement, saying: “Russia will not forget Britain’s desire to co-operate with ultra-nationalist forces in Ukraine and the supply of British weapons to the Kyiv regime.

“The sanctions hysteria in which London plays one of the leading, if not the main, roles, leaves us no choice but to take proportionately tough retaliatory measures.

“London has made a final choice of open confrontation with Russia.

“Such a development convinces us once more that Russophobia and the aim to undermine the Russian state are integral elements of Britain’s foreign policy.”

Ms Zakharova has also previously accused the BBC of “undermining Russian stability and security” after it suspended the work of its journalists in Russia when the country cracked down on foreign news reporting.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Boris Johnson unveiled what he described as the “largest and most severe package” of sanctions “that Russia had ever seen”.

The sanctions imposed on specific Russian oligarchs have been criticised for appearing limited.

The UK has only sanctioned 15 individual Russians, including Putin and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The EU, meanwhile, has imposed sanctions and travel bans on 702 people across all member states, including all members of the Russian parliament and more than 50 organisations with links to Putin.

However, on the other hand, the EU has faced criticism for not preventing Russians from using the euro, and for only barring seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, as the UK calls for harsher restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “For as long as Putin continues his barbaric attack on innocent Ukrainians we will continue to exert every power we have to inflict maximum economic pain on Putin and his war machine.”

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Later, despite saying he “would not call the authors of these statements by name,” he then stated “it was the British foreign minister”.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman hit back, saying: “It remains the case that the rhetoric we’re seeing from Putin’s regime is designed to distract from the situation on the ground.

“That is very much our focus.”

Yesterday (Friday), the Prime Minister added the war “could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe” after forces attacked a nuclear plant in Ukraine.



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