Ukraine Ticker. Russia confirms redeployment of troops +++ Hungary accuses Kyiv of election manipulation.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine as a prerequisite for easing the sanctions imposed on Russia and initially called for the sanctions against Moscow to be tightened. Easing the sanctions imposed by the G7 countries in exchange for a “Russian ceasefire in Ukraine” would “play into the hands of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin,” Johnson warned in Parliament in London.

“I believe we should step up sanctions on a rolling program until every single one of his soldiers is withdrawn from Ukraine,” Johnson said. With a view to British military aid to Ukraine, Johnson announced that he would “shift up a gear”.

Kyiv and Moscow again negotiated a ceasefire in Ukraine this week in Istanbul. According to the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy, it was also about “security guarantees” for his country.

Johnson ruled out offering Ukraine security guarantees comparable to those of NATO member states. However, Ukraine could possibly benefit from a different security concept of deterrence if it were heavily armed with Western help. “This is the path we are on,” Johnson said.

The prime minister also commented on US President Joe Biden’s controversial remarks about Putin in Warsaw. During his visit to the Polish capital last week, Biden said that the Kremlin boss “cannot stay in power” because of the Ukraine war. The statement immediately caused international irritation. The White House immediately assured that Biden was not seeking “regime change” in Moscow.

Johnson said he understood the frustration expressed in Biden’s words. A regime change in Moscow is “not the goal of the UK government,” he said. His government is only concerned with protecting the people of Ukraine “from absolutely barbaric and unreasonable violence”.

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