If the West truly believes in its values then its task is to defend Ukraine right until the last Russian soldier leaves its territory — Boris Johnson

10 September 2023

The world needs to prove that the values of democracy and freedom are working, and for that, they must protect Ukraine until the very last Russian soldier has left Ukrainian soil.

This opinion was expressed by Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at the Annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) "The Future Is Being Decided in Ukraine", organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

At the event Johnson emphasised that a peaceful solution is unlikely as long as Vladimir Putin remained President of Russia.

“A peaceful solution with Putin cannot be achieved. I’m sceptical. But we’ve got to hope that it works," the former Prime Minister said.

According to Johnson, the best guarantee of peace for Ukraine would be its membership in NATO: "We need to have Ukraine in NATO as fast as possible. What works is NATO. It has proved that it works. The argument was that Putin might get provoked, but look what has happened without NATO. Only Ukraine's membership in the Alliance is a long-term solution for the Russian problem."

Finally, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Western partners to strengthen sanctions against Russia and transfer $300 billion of seized Russian money to Ukraine for reconstruction.

“We always end up giving what is needed but we always do it months and months too late. My question to friends from other Western countries is simply why are we waiting? Get on with it now and we will save lives and bring this disastrous conflict to an end.“

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Franco Frattini
Franco Frattini
President of SIOI; Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2008-2011), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«We extremely need political leadership if you want to see the European Union more proactive on a global scene.»