The Prime Minister said the West’s failure to crack down hard on Russia’s aggression was partially to blame for the current war in Eastern Europe. He warned failure to take a firmer stand against Moscow years ago had only emboldened Putin.
In 2014 the West was left shocked when Russia ordered its troops into Crimea.
Moscow annexed the peninsula from Ukraine against its will after sending in troops.
While world leaders criticised Putin’s actions and imposed sanctions, in the months and years that followed, the anger from the West died down.
“When Putin invaded Ukraine the first time round, in 2014, the West made a terrible mistake,” Mr Johnson wrote in a newspaper article today.
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Mr Johnson has since led the way in urging the West abandon dependence on Russian energy so that it cannot be held hostage by the Kremlin.
While less than four percent of the UK’s gas supply comes from Russia, about a third of its petrol does.
Countries on the continent are even more reliant on Russia for gas and energy.
The stranglehold has led to soaring gas and energy prices in recent weeks.
Tonight Mr Johnson is flying to the Middle East to hold talks with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia about the current energy situation and to ask for their help in easing wholesale prices.
He is expected to push for them to increase production to help reduce prices.
It would also help ease the requirement for Europe to rely on Russian gas.
Mr Johnson is also expected to unveil a new UK energy strategy by the end of the month, outlining his plan to combat the current crisis while sticking to the Government’s 2050 net zero pledge.
It is thought to document will outline proposals to ditch some target dates written into law to hit green milestones.
The Government will instead commit to a more dramatic move to renewable energy sources in the future in order to stay on track for the 2050 date.
“You’ve got to reflect on the reality that there is a crunch on at the moment,” Mr Johnson said last week.
“We need to intensify our self-reliance as a transition with more hydrocarbons.”