UK will NOT engage in ‘direct conflict’ with Putin – but Russia WILL be held to account over Ukraine, Raab says


DOMINIC Raab today said the UK will NOT engage in “direct conflict” with Vladimir Putin – but warned Russia WILL be held to account.

The Deputy Prime Minister ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning it would lead to a “massive escalation”.

Dominic Raab today said the UK won’t engage in direct conflict with Putin
Raab said Vladimir Putin and his cronies will be held to account

But he insisted Putin and in his cronies WILL be held to account – and risked being prosecuted for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Raab told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “We’re not going to get ourselves into a direct military conflict with Putin because that would be a massive escalation, but also that feeds Putin’s narrative.

“Putin wants to say that he’s actually in a struggle with the west – he’s not.”

The Justice Secretary called no-fly zones “very difficult” and “very challenging” and he said “we will do everything short of that to support Ukrainians”.

But Mr Raab insisted the “reckless and frankly applying tactics by the Putin regime must be held to account”.

He added this applied “not just (to) Putin himself, but also anyone taking illegal orders”.

Mr Raab said: “My point, the here and now in all of this, is I want, and we want, and the ICC is making clear, that for all of those commanders on the ground right through to the people around Putin in the Kremlin, what they do now, whether they give or whether they follow illegal orders to commit war crimes, they will be held to account for it, and they need to know that.”

It comes as Boris Johnson gets set to present world leaders with a six-point action plan to combat the warmongering Russian leader.

The PM has drawn up a package of aid and sanctions and urges partners to match words with action.

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He will place humanitarian and military support to Ukraine at the heart of his strategy to isolate Russia.

Setting out his plan last night he said: “Putin must fail and be seen to fail in this act of aggression.

“It’s not enough to express our support for rules-based international order — we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by military force.”

“The world is watching.

“It is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge.”

Mr Johnson will welcome Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau and the Netherlands’ PM Mark Rutte to Downing Street for talks.

He hosts leaders of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia on Tuesday.

Raab spoke with Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday
Boris Johnson has drawn up a package of aid and sanctions