Boris Johnson urged to expel Russian ambassador to UK over Ukraine invasion
Boris Johnson is being urged by opposition parties in Westminster and a senior Tory MP to expel the Russian ambassador to the UK following the Kremlin’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.
As Vladimir Putin’s military offensive entered its third day, Ukraine’s foreign minister called on his allies to “completely isolate” Moscow through a series of measures, including the expulsion of ambassadors.
Dymtro Kuleba, who posted an image of a residential block damaged by missile fire, said: “Kiev, our splendid and peaceful city, survived another night under attack from Russian ground forces, missiles.”
“One of them hit a residential apartment in Kiev,” he added. “I demand of the world: isolate Russia completely, expel the ambassadors, embargo on oil, ruin its economy. Stop the Russian war criminals! “.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for foreign affairs, David Lammy, said The Independent the government should now proceed with the expulsion of the top diplomat from Moscow to London, Andrei Kelin.
“The Russian ambassador is reproducing the lies of Putin’s rogue regime, which is waging an illegal war against Ukraine,” he said. “The government should now kick Andrei Kelin out of the UK.”
Senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the House of Commons Defense Committee, also answered “100%” when asked by The Independent whether the ambassador should be expelled.
“All NATO countries could do it immediately,” he said. “We have just witnessed a totally illegal invasion of a sovereign state in Europe.”
He added: “I think there must be a series of measures of which this should be just the one that continues the non-lethal pressure on Russia, to isolate Putin from the international community. We need to make it harder, not easier, for Russia to operate outside of its state.
While insisting that ‘back channels’ for ministers should be retained, Mr Ellwood also suggested: ‘I would like to see the GRU, FSB [intelligence] embassy officers were also fired. We know who these people are. We did it with emotion after the novichok poisoning.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford backed the call, posting on social media: “Russia must face the full force of sanctions while we must do all we can to provide Ukraine with what she needs to defend herself.
“With Russia now targeting hospitals and civilians, we need to step up our efforts. Boris Johnson should now expel Andrey Kelin, the Russian ambassador to the UK”.
Earlier this week, Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, told Moscow’s top diplomat in London, Mr Kelin, that he should be ‘ashamed of himself’ for the ‘illegal and unprovoked’ invasion. from Ukraine.
During Thursday’s heated meeting, Ms Truss also told the ambassador that the Kremlin ‘repeatedly lied about not intending to invade’ – before expelling him of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After the meeting, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “She reiterated that there will be severe sanctions in retaliation for the invasion, which will inflict pain on the Russian economy and those who are closely associated with the Kremlin.
“She added that Russia should expect a long and protracted conflict that would inflict enormous human, economic and political cost on the Russian government. She said allies and partners are united in supporting Ukraine, providing economic and defensive support.