Ukraine: Liz Truss sends message 'Putin must lose'
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The Foreign Secretary will travel to Washington DC for talks on the Western response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. She will meet US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Jake Sullivan, the Biden administration’s national security advisor, on Wednesday. High on Ms Truss’s agenda in the US political capital will be how the US and the UK can best support Ukraine as it continues to fight invading Russian forces.
Joseph Robertson, director of the Orthodox Conservatives Group think tank, described how unity with the US over Ukraine could be a showcase of ‘Global Britain’ on the world stage, but this ‘special relationship’ should not be the only ties the UK is investing in.
He told Express.co.uk: “The perfect opportunity has arisen for Johnson to unveil his new ‘Global Britain’ at the international anti-Putin party, yet with a fuel crisis ongoing on both sides of the Atlantic, eyes at home will be looking to see what is happening to help the beleaguered taxpayer.
“With Britain creating a strong parallel with Poland and Ukraine, in a post-Brexit environment it is desirable to see it also draw closer to traditional ties in the Commonwealth – (Narendra) Modi and India are an ally with vast potential that is badly in need of nurturing.”
A “muscular and common-sense approach” is required from the Foreign Secretary in these talks, Mr Robertson added.
He said: “While Britain must remain close to its traditional ally in the US, the weakened Biden regime should not be top of Johnson’s list when it comes to international endeavours.
“On security issues, Britain has been provided with the opportunity to seize the moment as a global leader, while a weak White House sinks in failed home policy and increasingly confusing rhetoric about the international situation.
“To seal Britain’s position, Britain must use a muscular and common-sense approach to relations with the Biden administration, rather than acceding to its often whimsical and reactionary foreign policy.”
On Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary has praised the West’s united front to the threat posed by Vladimir Putin’s invasion, calling for cooperation across NATO and EU countries to continue.
She said: “The UK, US, and our allies have shown remarkable strength and unity in supporting Ukraine and imposing severe sanctions on Russia.
“We need to maintain that unity and do more to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.
“The Ukraine crisis is a wake-up call for free democracies.
“I am in the US to talk about what more we can do to deter hostile state actors, reduce strategic dependency on Russian energy – and authoritarian states more broadly – and build stronger economic and security alliances around the world.”
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Ms Truss will also address the US Congress on Thursday and discuss the fortification of transatlantic bonds.
Both the US and the UK have subjected Russian individuals and organisations to a portfolio of sanctions, aimed at slashing Russia’s ability to funnel funds into a war in Ukraine.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Ms Truss said the weight on British citizens of such sanctions “is nothing” when compared with the plight of fleeing or fighting Ukrainians.
She told MPs: “Of course, there will be an economic cost for British people from these sanctions, in terms of their energy bills and their cost of living, but that cost is nothing compared to the cost to the people of Ukraine of this horrific barbarism they’re facing.
“It is also not compared to the cost of allowing Putin to succeed because what we know is if Putin does not lose in Ukraine, then this will not be the limit of his ambitions.”
She added that they play a vital role in counteracting Vladimir Putin’s expansionist ambitions, which could reach across to countries further west than Ukraine, like Estonia and Lithuania.
She continued: “He has already been clear that he wants to see a greater Russia, that could encompass countries like Moldova and the Baltic states.
“It is vitally important that we throw everything at sanctions, we help as much as we can with defensive weaponry into Ukraine because this is a battle that Putin needs to lose.”
Just prior to her Commons address, the Foreign Secretary told the Foreign Affairs Committee the UK must beef up its deterrence, and Vladimir Putin did not take the West seriously after the end of the Cold War.
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