Name? Boris Johnson
Westphalian identity? British
Why is he in the news? A few weeks ago, before Russia invaded Ukraine, Boris Johnson was contending with a possible vote of no confidence over the “partygate” scandal. With the crisis in Ukraine uniting Westminster, BoJo has come out on top of this ‘wave of unity’. He has continually promoted a united NATO front against Putin, in addition to pushing hardest for sanctions, including their kick-out from SWIFT.
Why do we care? This is Boris’s ‘Falklands’ moment (think Thatcher in 1982). Similarly to the way that tackling Covid-19 put politics aside in Britain, the invasion of Ukraine has been an expedient platform on which PM Johnson can recover politically and possibly quell calls for his resignation even once the crisis subdues.
Why should you care? The UK has sent Ukraine £40M in medical aid as well as defensive military equipment. Moreover, Westminster is set to fast-track emergency legislation, an economic crime bill that registers overseas ownership of UK properties and targets sanctions-breakers. This will help Johnson better prosecute Russian oligarchs whose money is kept in London. You should care 7/10 about Johnson adding bite to his sanctions.
Who else cares? Ukrainian President Zelensky has found an important ally in PM Johnson. Johnson acts as an amplifier, for his own personal gains, to Zelensky who needs all the attention he can get in winning over the global public against Putin.
Any further comments? While the US is eager to start pumping oil in order to minimize Russian exports, Johnson is a bit more reluctant, not only because of the UK’s promises during COP26 (remember that?), but also because of the plausibility of their own output in the Northern Sea. Overall we can conclude that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is taking a toll in the global effort to carbon neutrality with the lesser evil gas in the possession of the current bigger evil.