Cobra meeting scheduled as tensions in Ukraine rise

LIZ Truss is to convene an emergency COBRA meeting as fears grow over the situation in Ukraine. 

The Foreign Secretary will chair the meeting to discuss consular assistance for Britons in the country, after it was advised they should leave immediately on Friday.

It will take place as Boris Johnson continues his ‘Levelling up tour’ of the country, visiting Scotland and the North West of England today.

No.10 said he would be receiving a briefing from his security advisers on the current situation.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “This afternoon the Foreign Secretary will chair a COBR meeting to discuss the consular response to the crisis in Ukraine following Friday’s update to travel advice.

“The Prime Minister will receive a security briefing from his intelligence chiefs today.

“Tomorrow the Prime Minister will chair a full meeting of COBR to discuss the UK’s response to the current situation.”

Speaking on a visit to Rosyth this morning, the Prime Minister warned that an invasion of Ukraine by Russia could take place within 48 hours.

He said “serious preparations” were being made for a Russian invasion, with around 130,000 troops massed on the borders of Ukraine.

In a message to European allies, Mr Johnson said the world needed to demonstrate the political and economic cost an invasion would have on Russia, including by ending reliance on its gas.

 “This is a very, very dangerous, difficult situation, we are on the edge of a precipice but there is still time for President Putin to step back.”

He called for more dialogue and urged Russia to avoid a “disastrous” invasion.

Reports based on US intelligence assessments have suggested an invasion could be launched as soon as Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said: “The signs, as you’ve heard from (US) President (Joe) Biden that they’re at least planning for something that could take place as early as in the next 48 hours.

“That is extremely concerning.”

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