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Ukraine crisis: UK PM Johnson calls for end to Russia's involvement in SWIFT

London [UK]: Extending support to Ukraine, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday (local time) called for an end to Russia's involvement in the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) international payments system, to limit the ability of Russia to trade outside the country. The Prime Minister said that they have also sent military support to the Polish border with Ukraine along with defensive military aid. The UK has trained 22,000 Ukrainian troops through Operation Orbital. "We have imposed sanctions on President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, five Russian banks, more than 100 companies and oligarchs at the heart of Putin's regime, and Belarus," Johnson said in a tweet. He further said that the UK has offered a full package of support to NATO to strengthen its eastern flank. "We are providing 1.100 million for economic reform and energy independence in Ukraine, and guaranteeing up to USD 500 million of Development Bank financing," he added. The UK has convened the Joint Expeditionary Force, bringing together members from the EU, NATO and Nordic states. He said that the UK has also banned Russian airline Aeroflot. On Thursday, Johnson had announced new sanctions against Russia over the military operation in Ukraine, saying the UK will aim to "squeeze Russia from the global economy." Overall, the UK will be imposing freezing of assets on more than a hundred of new entities and individuals, he added. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday said that France has agreed to supply military equipment to Keiv as well as ban Russia from the SWIFT international banking system. Earlier today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Germany and Hungary to back Russia's expulsion from the SWIFT banking system as Moscow continues its military operation in Ukraine. Notably, in the early hours on Thursday, Russia launched a special military operation after the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Western countries have strongly condemned the Russian military operation and boosted the sanctions pressure on Moscow.

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