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UK PM Urges Russia to Step Back From ‘Precipice'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Number 10 / flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from "the edge of a precipice," warning that an invasion of Ukraine could come within 48 hours.

"You've got about 130,000 troops massing on the Ukrainian border. This is a very, very dangerous, difficult situation," Johnson told reporters.

"We are on the edge of a precipice but there is still time for President Putin to step back," he added, echoing U.S. warnings that an invasion could be imminent.

Johnson called on Western allies to "stand together and show a united front" and on European leaders to learn the lessons from Moscow's actions in Crimea in 2014, when Russia annexed the peninsula, and reduce their dependency on Russian gas.

"All European countries need to get Nord Stream [gas pipeline] out of the bloodstream, yank out that hypodermic drip-feed of Russian hydrocarbons that is keeping so many European economies going," he said.

Johnson said he had no plans to visit Moscow, but that he would be discussing the crisis with "various leaders, including [U.S. President] Joe Biden, very soon."

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