'Brexit Britain flexing its muscles!' European papers celebrated tough UK while EU dithers

A piece in the Swiss German-language paper heralds “Brexit Britain flexing its muscles” against Russia as tension around the Ukrainian border mounts – while bemoaning the hesitation and mixed messaging of EU states. The paper states Boris Johnson is now positioning the UK as a “forceful international player”.

Journalist Niklaus Nuspliger argued Mr Johnson’s trip to Kiev on Tuesday to visit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was part of “a broad initiative with which Brexit-Britain is trying to position itself as a bold international player in the Ukraine crisis”.

This ran contrary to many critics’ interpretations of the trip as little more than an effort to distraction from the scandal surrounding alleged Downing Street parties.

Partygate also took Mr Johnson away from engaging with Ukraine last Monday, reports Mr Nuspliger.

He argues the Prime Minister would have wanted to call Russian President Vladimir Putin, but was instead “stuck in a debate” about alleged lockdown parties.

Brexit Britain has stood contrary to many EU states in the firmness of its military signals to Putin.

Even as early as mid-January, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace castigated Putin’s “ethno-nationalist ambitions”.

The UK then sent around 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, along with specialised soldiers to guide their Ukrainian counterparts.

While these troops will not fight alongside the Ukrainians in the event of war with Russia, Britain remains one of the few countries who have sent defensive arms.

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Mr Nuspliger argues that, unlike EU counterparts, Boris Johnson is seeking to be closer to Washington and is shaping an image of Brexit Britain “that strives for open trade routes worldwide, but also resolutely advocates democratic values.”

On Monday, Liz Truss expanded the British sanctions policy.

The expanded policy will allow the Government to use measures such as blocking visas or accounts not only to punish people who are directly involved in the Ukraine crisis, but also “all individuals or companies with economic or strategic importance for the Kremlin”.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

source: express.co.uk