Ukraine: Britain ‘will ensure’ Putin fails says Liz Truss
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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has reportedly been urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to release funds for her new “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine. Ms Truss, who overseas humanitarian and diplomatic work in her role, is creating a plan to help rebuild Ukraine when the war is over – provided the Russians don’t win.
The war in Ukraine has devastated cities and forced millions to flee their homes, creating one of the biggest forced migrations in recent European history.
Cities like Mariupol have been all but destroyed and the Chernobyl plant has been captured, with swathes of eastern Ukraine now under Russian control.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK would send 6,000 missiles and £25 million to the Ukrainian military.
The UK has already sent more than £400 million to the country in humanitarian aid and is also supplying “lethal aid” in the form of anti-tank missiles and other weaponry.
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Now, it is understood Ms Truss has asked the Treasury to consider extra funding for humanitarian aid and for the UK to play a leading role in rebuilding the war torn country.
Exactly how much funding has been requested is unknown at this stage.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has asked the Chancellor to increase the total size of the humanitarian aid budget, which is currently 0.5 per cent of gross national income.
The request for the overall budget to be increased is needed so that funding allocated for Ukraine does not take from the pockets of projects elsewhere in the world.
A FCDO spokesman said: “We do not comment on private meetings. Our immediate concern is how we help Ukrainians facing a humanitarian crisis now.
“The UK is at the forefront of these efforts, supporting those fleeing Ukraine as a result of Putin’s unprovoked aggression and continues to lead with economic and humanitarian support totalling £400 million.
“We have deployed humanitarian teams to the wider region to ensure essential supplies and medical support reach those who need it most.”
However, the UK’s foreign aid budget was cut in the Autumn Budget by the Chancellor.
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It was originally 0.7 percent of GDP before being slashed.
This week the Chancellor Mr Sunak was criticised for not increasing the UK’s defence budget in his Spring Statement on Wednesday.
Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons defence select committee, said the Chancellor should have taken the opportunity to “send a message to Putin that we take European security seriously”.
He said: “There is a direct link between the domestic difficulties we face and European security.
“We have missed a trick in not recognising the Government’s first duty to the British people.”
Cleaning up the mess made by the Russians will be no easy feat – in economic terms, the war is expected to wipe 0.5 percent off global GDP in 2022 alone.
The EU is also planning a post-war fund to help rebuild Ukraine, a draft document published ahead of a leaders’ summit has shown.
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