British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that Russia prevailing in its invasion of Ukraine would be “absolutely catastrophic” for the world, as it would legitimize further aggressions elsewhere.
Speaking with CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Jake Tapper in Germany on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, Johnson called President Biden’s support for Ukrainians “extraordinary.”
“I would just say to people in the United States that this is something that America historically does and has to do,” Johnson said. “And that is to step up for peace and freedom and democracy.”
Johnson will meet with Biden and other leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies at this week’s G7 Summit, which will be followed by a NATO summit in Spain.
The Biden administration on Thursday announced its latest security package for Ukraine, bringing the total U.S. security assistance to $6.1 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Biden last month signed a $40 billion package passed by Congress that includes security, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine in the months ahead.
“I would argue that that is a price worth paying for democracy and freedom, because when you think about the postwar period…think what that achieved, the decades and decades of peace and freedom,” Johnson said on Sunday.
After failing to take Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbas region in the east, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian military for years.
The U.K.’s Defense Ministry said earlier on Sunday that Russian forces had likely taken the city of Sieverodonetsk, which it called a “significant achievement.”
“If we let Putin get away with it and just annex, conquer sizable parts of a free, independent, sovereign country, which is what he is poised to do, if not the whole thing, then the consequences for the world are absolutely catastrophic,” Johnson told Tapper.
Johnson said the repercussions could extend to places like Taiwan, where fears are rising that China will attempt to seize control in the coming years, either through military or economic aggression.
At the Spain summit, NATO leaders are expected to discuss a new strategic concept that the White House said last week would reflect those threats from China.
“That is what is ultimately disastrous,” Johnson said. “Not just for democracy and for the independence of countries, but for economic stability.”