Ukraine is heading towards a refugee crisis according to an expert from Liverpool University.
Professor Erika Harris, an internationally recognised expert on Central Europe, post- Soviet space and the Balkans, says that the conflict threatens to cause a huge humanitarian crisis as people flee the Russian invasion.
“In terms of citizens fleeing Ukraine there is an expectation for another refugee crisis. There are already refugee camps in some countries, certainly on the border of western countries,” said Professor Harris
“Certainly on the border of Western Ukraine to Slovakia they already have camps prepared for refugees. There is a flood of refugees who seem to be going out of Ukraine and many have already left.
“If this invasion continues, if the course of action is not averted by some other means I think we will see many, many Ukrainian refugees.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier that the UK would, with western allies, be imposing sanctions “designed in time to hobble the Russian economy.”
Mr Johnson also said: “We must also collectively cease the dependence on Russian oil and gas that for too long has given Putin his grip on western politics.”
WATCH: My address to the nation on the situation in Ukraine. https://t.co/bLDpcnNaDy
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 24, 2022
However Professor Harris is sceptical of the effectiveness of this strategy.
She said: “Sanctions and the threat of sanctions did not stop this invasion. This invasion this is not about sanctions, this is about different things.”
Opposition leader Keir Starmer has said that: “The influence of Russian money must be extricated from the UK” and has backed the “hardest possible sanctions” against Russia.
We must now match our rhetoric with action. We must urgently reinforce our NATO allies.
The hardest possible sanctions must be taken against all those linked to Putin.
The influence of Russian money must be extricated from the U.K.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) February 24, 2022
The invasion is expected to have profound economic consequences. Energy prices are expected to rise adding to the already severe energy crisis.
Petrol and gas prices have spiked in response to the Russian invasion with unleaded petrol reaching more than £1.55 a litre. The price of gas for next-day delivery jumped 40% to £280 per therm with widespread fears of a disruption to global energy supplies.
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said in a statement: “This morning’s news that Russia has invaded Ukraine is deeply disturbing.
“For all the Ukrainians who have made Liverpool their home, this is a deeply troubling time, we will do what we can to support you.”