Russia has been warned of a “dramatic elevated response” from the West if Vladimir Putin resorts to deploying chemical weapons in Ukraine.
As Boris Johnson and western allies raised issues over the potential use of the banned weapons, the expertise minister Chris Philp urged the Kremlin “to not cross that line”.
Final evening the prime minister claimed the “cynical, barbaric” regime in Moscow had a “faux story able to go”, with baseless claims of its opponents storing chemical weapons.
“The stuff which you might be listening to about chemical weapons is straight of the Russian playbook,” Mr Johnson instructed Sky Information presenter Beth Rigby.
Chatting with Instances Radio, Mr Philp mentioned the usage of chemical weapons, “particularly in an invasion the place there are a really giant variety of civilians, could be an outrage in opposition to humanity”.
“I’d say to anyone in Russian interested by this: don’t cross that line, don’t inflict any extra distress and struggling on the Ukrainian individuals”.
He added: “They’ve already been taking pictures civilians who’re fleeing down humanitarian escape corridors, they’ve been bombing and shelling hospitals together with a kids’s maternity hospital, don’t go any additional in inflicting distress on the Ukrainian individuals.
“It’ll set off an elevated response from the West, there’s a dramatic elevated response, there’s no query about that.
“I’m not going to invest concerning the kind that’s going to take or pre-empt it, however that’s a line the Russian authorities mustn’t cross”.
His feedback echo these of the armed forces minister, James Heappey, who warned the Russia president wanted “to be very clear that when different international locations have used chemical weapons it has triggered a global response”.
Throughout a visit to Washington on Thursday, the overseas secretary Liz Truss additionally mentioned the federal government was “very involved” concerning the potential use of chemical weapons whereas the White Home press secretary mentioned the world must be “looking out” for the Russian use of chemical and organic weaponry.
Final evening, nevertheless, Mr Johnson once more dismissed requires a no-fly zone over Ukraine, amid fears such motion may deliver the UK and its Nato allies right into a direct battle with Russian forces.
Referring to the Kremlin’s bombing of a maternity hospital within the Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol, the prime minister mentioned it confirmed that Putin is ready to desert “all norms of civilised behaviour”.
He added: “The issue is that there’s a line past which, fairly frankly, the UK and Nato could be deemed to be in battle — direct battle — with Russia.
“It’s agonising. It’s completely agonising. And I’ve had this dialog at the least a few occasions now with Volodymyr, however I feel the issue is that it’ll require me to order RAF jets, UK pilots into the air with a mission to shoot down Russian quick jets. I feel we’ve bought to be reasonable… there’s a line that may be very troublesome to cross.”