UK Foreign Secretary condemns Russian forces on Ukrainian soil

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Ms. Liz Truss stated in a keynote speech in London that victory for Ukraine is now a “strategic imperative” for the West. This is the most explicit statement yet of Britain’s war objectives, which have previously been limited to stating that President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “must fail and be seen to fail.” She stated that Western allies should “double down” on their support for Ukraine. “We will go further and faster,” Ms. Truss said, “to push Russia out of Ukraine as a whole.” This means that Russian forces must leave not only the territory they have occupied in recent weeks since their invasion on February 24th, but also the areas they invaded and annexed eight years ago, including Crimea in the south and parts of the eastern Donbas region.


A month into the latest invasion, Russia declared its main goal to be the “liberation of Donbas”, referring to the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. In a war that began in 2014, Russian proxy forces have already seized more than a third of this territory. Not all Western powers may share Ms. Truss’ ambitious goal, fearing that it will be impossible to achieve through arms or negotiation. Some officials, specially from France and Germany, have been more cautious about stating war objectives that might provoke Russia, instead focusing on language about defending Ukraine. The foreign secretary’s latest remarks in a speech at Mansion House in London reflect some in the West’s desire to aim high, so that Ukraine enters any future talks about a political settlement to the conflict with the best negotiating hand possible. Ms. Truss also used her speech to state unequivocally that the West must do more to deter future Russian aggression. This, she said, should include more spending on defence, with the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defence seen as a “floor, not a ceiling.”


Ms. Truss has the support of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as well. When asked about Ms. Truss’s statement, he told Sky News that “the international community believes Russia should leave Ukraine.” They have condemned Russia’s illegal invasion of Crimea in 2014. Its invasion of Donetsk, while acknowledging that it is illegal, is a little different. “We do not recognize it, and we have repeatedly stated that Russia should leave sovereign territory. So that hasn’t changed.”


Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, warned earlier on Wednesday that any country interfering in Ukraine would be met with a “lightning” fast response. “We have all the tools [to respond] that no one can boast of,” he told Russian lawmakers. “And we will not brag about them; we will use them if necessary.”

Written by: Relaks Radio

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