Johnson urges G7 leaders to stand firm in support of Ukraine as questions mount over his leadership

The prime minister said ‘the price of backing down’ against Russia will be ‘far, far higher’ than supporting Ukraine. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson has urged Western leaders to remain united with Ukraine as he sought to put his own political difficulties to one side.

He said while the consequences of the war were tough for the rest of the world, the price of backing down and allowing Russia to succeed would be "far higher," as speculation mounts about 'war fatigue' among politicians.

The prime minister was speaking at the G7 summit in Bavaria, the latest in a series of international summits which have kept him out of the UK as questions pile up over his leadership.

Mr Johnson was at a Commonwealth meeting in Rwanda as the Conservatives learned they had lost by-elections in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield, and is not expected to return to the UK until after a Nato summit in Madrid on Thursday.

His ability to reassure wavering MPs – or snuff out Westminster plots against him – will therefore be diminished.

The prime minister greeted French President Emmanuel Macron at the summit. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

But he will hope appearing on an international stage, focusing on the biggest war in Europe since the defeat of the Nazis, will persuade doubters that it is not the right time to consider a change in leadership.

In advance of a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Johnson was asked whether France and Germany are doing enough to support Ukraine.

The prime minister praised Germany without mentioning France, saying, "Just look at what the Germans alone have done."

Boris Johnson took a stroll with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the summit. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

“I never believed in my lifetime that I would see a German chancellor stepping up in the way that Olaf Scholz has and sending weaponry to help the Ukrainians to protect themselves.

“He’s made huge, huge strides. We have 4% of our gas from Russia, in Germany it’s 40%.

“They’re facing real, real pressures, they’re having to source energy from elsewhere. But they’re doing it. They’re making the effort. They’re making the sacrifice.”

He added the Germans realise “the price of freedom is worth paying," despite the domestic consequences.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to address the G7 countries – the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the EU – remotely on Sunday.

The Ukrainian government fears it could run out of funding by the autumn unless it is given urgent financial help.

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