Johnson: Ukraine "not NATO conflict and will not become one"
The British Prime Minister's remarks come after British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said last month that the ongoing military operation could become a fight between the Western alliance and Russia.
The Ukrainian crisis will not be allowed to expand into a NATO confrontation, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson wrote in The New York Times on Sunday that “This is not a NATO conflict, and it will not become one. No ally has sent combat troops to Ukraine. We have no hostility toward the Russian people, and we have no desire to impugn a great nation and a world power."
In his op-ed, Johnson claimed confidence that his "near-daily conversations" with Ukraine's president were bringing "with some comfort in their hour of need" to Ukrainians. He also lauded US Vice President Joe Biden for "exposing the lie that America’s commitment to Europe is somehow diminished."
Russia launched a special operation to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine, in response to requests from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics for assistance in combating Ukrainian troops' aggression. The special operation is only targeting Ukrainian military facilities, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, and the civilian population is not at risk. Moscow has stated that it has no intention of occupying Ukraine.
Despite the Ukrainian leadership's pleas, the US and NATO have declined to intervene directly in the conflict.
Earlier this week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the organization is a defensive alliance that does not desire confrontation with Russia.
Johnson previously was delighted to describe Russia as the "most acute security threat," since the end of the Cold War. Johnson also congratulated himself for expanding weaponry exports to Ukraine ahead of the present crisis, and he claimed that the new AUKUS security alliance created last year was proof of "our shared resolve to meet the challenges we face in the Indo-Pacific.”
The prime minister promised that the UK would continue to supply weapons to Ukraine, impose additional sanctions on Russia, and renew efforts to "strengthen Euro-Atlantic security," including "not only bolstering NATO's eastern flank but also supporting non-NATO European countries that are potentially at risk," such as Moldova, Georgia, and the western Balkans.
Throughout the operation, Biden and allies have provided Ukraine with over billions in lethal aid.
According to a declassified accounting of transfers and sales examined by The Washington Post, the United States significantly increased its supply of lethal military aid to Ukraine as the potential of an escalation with Russia drew closer.
According to the list, the Pentagon began arming Ukrainians with weapons and equipment suited for combat in urban areas as early as December, including shotguns and specialist suits to protect soldiers handling explosive munitions.