'What's the difference between a Russian invasion and incursion?' Nick grills minister

26 January 2022, 10:13 | Updated: 26 January 2022, 10:15

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

'What's the difference between an incursion and an invasion?' Nick Ferrari quizzes a government minister over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson said the UK would "contribute" to any further NATO deployments if Russia invades Ukraine.

The Prime Minister told MPs Western allies will react "in unison" to any Russian attack by imposing sanctions.
He's warned President Putin it would be a "disaster for Russian people."

But, speaking to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, LBC's Nick Ferrari noticed a curious usage of terminology by the politician.

"Right. I just note you've used the word incursion on three occasions, Foreign Secretary, what is the difference between an incursion and an invasion?" Nick questioned.

The Foreign Secretary explained the term invasion was a "narrower definition of moving over the border into Ukraine."

She added that "incursion is broader, so it means any Russian movement into Ukraine. It's a technical term that we use, which makes it much more specific to be able to target these sanctions."

The government has said the UK won't rule out individual sanctions against Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine - after the US President said he'd hold him personally responsible.

But, Nick again pushed Ms Truss: "The word incursion is a technical term, is it?"

With the Foreign Secretary replying the word incursion is broader than the word invasion.

Pressing harder on the issue, Nick asked the senior Conservative to "imagine if the Russians were to come into Southwest Norfolk, your constituents would probably see that more as an invasion and then would an incursion, wouldn’t they?"

"That's correct. Exactly. We just want to make sure it's as broad as possible, but it does include an invasion. That's very clear," was the Foreign Secretary's reply.

However one of the Foreign Secretary's colleagues yesterday did use the term "invasion" when warning Russia may already have personnel in place in Ukraine to assist with an invasion.

On Tuesday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told MPs there were individuals already in Ukraine "linked to the Russian state in ways that are not conventional" and "that should give cause for concern".

He added: "We are becoming aware of a significant number of individuals that are assessed to be associated with Russian military advance force operations that currently are located in Ukraine."

Mr Wallace told the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that any incursion into Ukrainian territory would be unacceptable.

He said: "Any crossing into Ukraine, whether small or large, would be viewed as a breach of that sovereignty, against international law and an invasion.

"You can't be half-pregnant, you are either invading a country or you are not."

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