Boris Johnson says UK will support Ukrainian government ‘in exile’

Boris Johnson has said the UK would offer support for a Ukrainian government in exile after warning the president he may need a “safe place” to flee from Russian troops.

The prime minister said he has told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky he and his ministers may have to leave the country in the wake of the Russian invasion.

“One of the points I made to president Zelensky this morning was it might be necessary for him to find a safe place for him and his cabinet to go,” the PM told MPs.

Conservative MP Julian Lewis, who chairs the Intelligence and security select committee of parliament, asked: “If, as appears likely, Ukraine gets overwhelmed, will we offer to give sanctuary to a government in exile pending Ukraine’s future freedom?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Of course we will give all support that we can – logistical or otherwise – as Britain always has done to governments in exile.”

The prime minister said the UK will support the Ukrainians “economically, diplomatically, politically, and yes, militarily as well – I know that in due time we will success”.

He said the “unflinching goal” of his government will be to see Vladimir Putin’s “squalid” venture fail. “Now we see him for what is – a blood-stained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest.”

The PM extended punitive measures on Thursday to hit five further oligarchs, including the Putin’s former son-in-law, and to tackle more than 100 Russian businesses, individuals and…

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