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Russia warns Britain after Johnson said Putin 'crossed the red line into barbarism'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at NATO Headquarters for meetings with NATO allies about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium on March 24, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Russia has warned Britain's foreign policy approach would lead to a dead-end after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “crossed the red line into barbarism,” ratcheting up the US-led propaganda offensive against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, "As for Mr. Johnson, we see him as the most active participant in the race to be anti-Russian. It will lead to a foreign policy dead end."

Johnson ranted against Putin on Thursday as he arrived in Brussels for an unprecedented one-day trio of NATO, G7 and EU summits.

The meetings are focused on Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is attending all three meetings and will hold a news conference afterward.

Johnson said Russia should be targeted with additional sanctions as a consequence of the war, claiming that more penalties could help end the conflict at a quicker pace.

“Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism,” Johnson told reporters, according to Reuters.

UK announces new Russia sanctions

Johnson's comments came as London announced sanctions on 65 more groups and individuals, including a private military firm and a major Russian bank.

He said the US and its Western allies have to “tighten the vice” in sanctions against Russia to force Moscow to end its war in Ukraine.

“It is very important we work together to get this thing done. The harder our sanctions ... the more we can do to help Ukraine ... the faster this thing can be over,” Johnson said.

In addition to the new raft of financial sanctions, the UK government has announced plans to send 6,000 more missiles to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Johnson's spokesman said on Thursday Britain was assessing Russia's demand for payment for gas in roubles, after President Putin said he would invoice "unfriendly" countries in the currency.

"We are carefully monitoring the implications of the Russian demand," the spokesman said.

Johnson aims at gold reserves

"We need to do more," Johnson said. "And so we need to do more economically. Can we do more to stop him from using his gold reserves for instance, in addition to his cash reserves? The more pressure we apply now, particularly on things like gold, that I believe the more we can shorten the war."

Johnson added that President Biden was right to say that Russia was guilty of committing war crimes.

"It is right that Russia should now be called before the International Court of Justice and right that President Putin should appear before the International Criminal Court. There is no question that what they are doing is war crimes,” he said.

Last week, Biden called Putin a "murderous dictator" and a "pure thug,” after calling him a "war criminal."

Biden criticized Putin and the Russian military action in Ukraine, saying, "My generic point is that, you know, now you have Ireland and Great Britain... standing together against a murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine."

Biden earlier called Putin a "war criminal" over the military operation in Ukraine.

Russia denounced the comments as “unacceptable and unforgivable."

"We believe such rhetoric to be unacceptable and unforgivable on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 16.

“Such statements from the American president, unworthy of a statesman of such high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on March 21.

The US accusations came from the president of the country that has invaded and occupied about half a dozen countries since 9/11.

Biden, in the entire course of his political career, has never opposed US military exploits or condemned their devastating effects on other countries.

Rift over Ukraine exposed as UK delegation to India called off

Meanwhile, a high-powered British delegation to India led by the House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, was called off on Thursday at the last minute in a sign of a growing rift over India’s refusal to join the US-led alliance against Russia.

The 10-member-strong delegation has been in discussion with India since January and was planning to visit Delhi and Rajasthan, but the Indian government has reportedly declined to accept the delegation.

India says US, Russia ties 'stand on their own merit'

In reply to a query whether the Ukraine war had affected Indian ties with the United States and Russia, the Indian foreign ministery told parliament on Thursday said India has friendly relations with both that stand on their own merit.

India has rejected the pressure from the United States and imposed any sanctions on Russia.

"India has called for immediate cessation of hostilities and return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue with respect to the conflict in Ukraine," junior foreign minister Meenakashi Lekhi told parliament.

"India has close and friendly relations with both the U.S. and Russia," she added. "They stand on their own merit."

Biden said this week India was the only one of the Quad group of nations that was "somewhat shaky" in acting against Russia. Aimed at containing China,

The Quad group was created by Washington to contain China. The grouping consists of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

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