Foreign Secretary Liz Truss explains the UK’s mission to help restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine has sparked a resurgence of political unity and determination.

We have seen the G7 come together like never before under the United Kingdom’s leadership last year and now Germany this year.

Yesterday’s G7 summit in Brussels with Chancellor Scholz as chair cemented our resolve to stand together in the face of this aggression.

Putin expected us to stand by when his thugs invaded a month ago. Instead, we moved decisively together with our allies to cripple his war machine with the strongest sanctions the world has ever seen. The G7 has been at the vanguard of this international response, targeting all those complicit in this invasion.

We are following through on our repeated warnings to the Kremlin. As far back as December, I stood alongside Annalena Baerbock and my other G7 counterparts in Liverpool under the UK’s Presidency in making clear that any aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences.

Our alliance of democracies covers more than half of the global economy, which gives us unmatched leverage to exert through sanctions. Our actions under German leadership have cemented the G7’s position as the most important coordinating body in this mission. We have collectively hit Russia’s oligarchs, banks and businesses, cutting off funds to the Putin regime and degrading its ability to sustain aggression.

Our Prime Minister joined G7 leaders yesterday to take forward our next steps. He made clear the UK’s determination to work with our allies to step up military and economic support to the people of Ukraine in order to strengthen their defences as they turn the tide against Putin’s forces.

That is why we are stepping up to go deeper and broader than ever to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine. We will deepen our focus by zeroing in on new industries and individuals aiding and abetting the Putin regime.

We are working with our allies to close loopholes and prevent others from helping Russia to evade the full might of our sanctions measures. We will continue increasing the pressure on Russian businesses and oligarchs closest to Putin. Our message to those around him is clear: from the houses of Hampstead to the harbour of Hamburg, there is nowhere to hide

I applaud Chancellor Scholz for heralding a turning point with his decisive leadership on defence and security. He has taken the historic decision to boost Germany’s defence spending and start sending military aid to help Ukraine defend itself. He has also shown boldness by freezing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In the same spirit, the UK is stepping up as NATO’s largest defence spender in Europe to supply Ukraine with next-generation anti-tank weapons and anti-air missiles. We are also working with our allies to reduce our dependency together on Russian oil and gas. It may be hard, but freedom and security must come first.

We will broaden our approach by rallying more of our friends in standing up for sovereignty and security. Putin is waging all-out war on Ukraine and a full-frontal assault on the foundations of freedom everywhere. That is why we need to build up our global coalition by reaching out to those countries across the world who are willing to stand up for sovereignty.

We will also broaden our economic toolkit to look at every aspect of Russia’s international relations to isolate it even further. Nothing and no-one can be off the table. We will double down in squeezing the Kremlin with further waves of sanctions over the coming days and weeks.

The UK recognises this is only one key part of our broader response to the horrific scenes unfolding in Ukraine: on humanitarian support, bolstering NATO and backing other vulnerable countries such as Moldova, we and Germany are standing shoulder to shoulder. We know all this work will have greater impact by working in lockstep with our allies, particularly through the G7.

Together, we all have a historic duty to keep the flame of freedom burning in Ukraine, rather than see it snuffed out across Europe and the wider world. We are clear that our like-minded democracies will not relent or waver. At this critical moment, we will keep ratcheting up the pressure and work in unison under German G7 leadership to bring an end to this war.

We have to steel ourselves for some hardship as a result of sanctions, but that will pale in comparison to what the people of Ukraine are enduring. They ask for nothing more than to live in peace and security, in the same way that families up and down the United Kingdom and Germany do too.

Every step we take will be designed to help restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is why we are going deeper and broader in our mission to ensure Putin fails.

This article first appeared today (25 March 2022) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
Source: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP.
Photo credit: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street


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