The Conservative MP said the deepening crisis in Eastern Europe is “extremely concerning” as Russian President Vladimir Putin masses over 100,000 frontline troops backed up by tanks, artillery and warplanes on the Ukraine border.
Neil spoke to the Harborough Mail today about the international flashpoint as the UK started to pull diplomats, their families and other staff out of Ukrainian capital Kiev.
He also warned that a Russian invasion of its neighbour would spike the cost of energy for people across Harborough at a time when gas and electricity bills are already going through the roof.
“The whole situation in Ukraine is extremely concerning.
“We could be about to see a Russian invasion of Eastern Europe, with far-reaching consequences for people in Harborough, not least potentially humongous increases in energy costs for people and the cost of living,” stressed Neil.
And the MP, who has a special interest in world affairs, said President Putin’s aggressive stance is threatening to destroy the “long-lasting peace” that Europe has enjoyed since the Second World War ended in 1945.
“The issues go much wider than that (rising energy costs) because the Russian government is clearly threatening the long-lasting peace that we have enjoyed in Europe for such a long time,” warned Neil today.
Half of the UK’s diplomatic staff and their families stationed in Kiev are now set to leave the country amid the escalating risk of a Russian attack.
President Putin has built up huge armed forces on the Ukrainian border after issuing a catalogue of tough security demands to the USA and its NATO allies.
British government officials fear Russia will restrict gas supplies to European countries if Moscow does invade the Ukraine and the West imposes sanctions.
The UK gets its gas from other countries.
But it would still be hit by sky-high prices if Russia clamped down on the flow of gas to Europe as the wholesale price of the vital energy source would rocket.
“Unlike some countries the UK hardly imports any Russian gas, but like all countries we are exposed to rising wholesale prices, which would be a significant issue if Russia further restricted supply,” a senior government official told The Times today.