Boris Johnson will hold talks with world leaders this week in an attempt to bring Russia “back from the brink” of war, as the Ukraine crisis enters a “critical juncture”

Boris Johnson will hold talks with world leaders this week in an attempt to bring Russia "back from the brink" of war, as the Ukraine crisis enters a "critical juncture"

London, TGO: Western fears of an imminent Russian invasion grew as Ukraine sought to keep its airspace open and President Zelensky invited US President Joe Biden to visit his country.

Boris Johnson will hold talks with world leaders this week in an attempt to bring Russia “back from the brink” of war, as the Ukraine crisis enters a “critical juncture”.

Number 10 warned on Sunday evening that its intelligence “suggests Russia could be a planning an invasion of Ukraine at any moment”, warning of “disastrous consequences”.

Although the crisis on Ukraine’s border had reached “a critical juncture”, there remained a “window of opportunity for de-escalation and diplomacy”, Downing Street said.

The prime minister is expected to continue diplomatic efforts in another trip to Europe this week – and US President Joe Biden has been invited to visit Ukraine following a phone call with country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy

A statement from President Zelenskiy’s office quoted him as saying Mr Biden’s arrival would be “a powerful signal and contribute to de-escalation”.

During the call the White House said both men agreed to keep pushing both deterrence and diplomacy to try to stave off a feared Russian military offensive.

On Sunday, Ukraine called for talks with Russia and other members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) within 48 hours.

‘Back from the brink’

A Downing Street spokeswoman asserted that the prime minister would “work tirelessly alongside our allies to get Russia to step back from the brink”.

Number 10 did not confirm which world leaders the Mr Johnson hoped to speak with, but it is understood he is keen to engage with Nordic and Baltic countries.

Labour said at the weekend that ministers must learn lessons from the “chaos” of the Afghanistan evacuation to help people fleeing Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion.