Liz Truss urges Russia to step back from war in Ukraine

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In a message to President Vladimir Putin, the Foreign Secretary will insist the UK and its allies “continue to stand with Ukraine”.

Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near the border but denies planning an invasion.

President Putin has made a series of demands to the West, insisting Ukraine should never be allowed to join Nato.

Ms Truss will urge Putin to engage in “meaningful discussions” about the crisis following the build-up of Russian forces.

She will claim the “Kremlin has not learned the lessons of history” and that “invasion will only lead to a terrible quagmire and loss of life, as we know from the Soviet-Afghan war and conflict in Chechnya”.

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The Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace have used their visit to Australia to bolster defence and diplomatic ties. Ms Truss will use her speech at the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney today to highlight the need for allies such as the UK and

Australia to work together to counter the challenge posed by Russia and China on the world stage. She will say that “global aggressors” are “emboldened in a way we haven’t seen since the Cold War”.

Ms Truss is also expected to add: “They seek to export dictatorship as a service around the world.

“That is why regimes like Belarus, North Korea and Myanmar find their closest allies in Moscow and Beijing. It is time for the free world to stand its ground.”

Boris Johnson warned Mr Putin that Russia faces “disaster” if it invades Ukraine.

He also reiterated the UK’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty, adding: “If Russia were to make any kind of incursion into Ukraine on any scale, I think that would be a disaster. Not just for Russia, it would be a disaster for the world.”

US President Joe Biden said Russia would pay a “serious and dear price” if it invaded.

Britain’s Armed Forces have flown some 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine this week and UK surveillance aircraft have also been spotted.

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