Liz Truss’ stern warning to Putin
Foreign Minister Liz Truss has warned the Kremlin that invading Ukraine will lead to “a protracted conflict with an appalling human toll” as tensions continue to mount in the region.
In a letter to all MPs, which was seen by The Mail on Sunday, Ms Truss said she told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his shuttle diplomacy in Moscow on Thursday that the UK “stands fully behind Ukraine and its right to autonomy”. -determination’.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that a possible nuclear war could break out if Ukraine were allowed to join NATO.
But Ms Truss – who was mocked by the Russian media for aping the appearance of Margaret Thatcher’s fur hat in the Russian capital in 1987 – said she did not accept the zero-sum argument that the ‘Improving one country’s security harms another’s security, as Russia claims’.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has warned the Kremlin that invading Ukraine will lead to ‘a protracted conflict with an appalling human toll’
The Foreign Secretary wrote of her four-hour talks: “I urged Russia to desist from its brazen aggression against Ukraine, to withdraw its troops massed on the Ukrainian border and to engage in meaningful talks on the basis of the proposals put forward by NATO. Russia is obviously not threatened for its security.
In a stern warning of the potential consequences of military action, Ms Truss said: ‘Ukraine would fight, resulting in a protracted conflict with an appalling human toll.’
It is understood that Parliament will be recalled in the event of an invasion next week, while MPs are on vacation.
Last night his remarks were echoed by US President Joe Biden, who in a phone call to Mr Putin warned that the consequences of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine would be ‘swift and severe’ , and that America and its allies “will respond decisively and impose swift and significant costs”.
A White House spokesperson said Mr Biden was “clear with President Putin that while the United States remains ready to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our allies and partners, we We are also ready for other scenarios”.
Ms Truss’ comments came to light as the first British families started returning to the UK.
Thousands of British, American and European citizens have been ordered to leave Ukraine while they still can because there will be no military evacuation following a Russian attack.
It is understood that Parliament will be recalled in the event of an invasion next week, while MPs are on vacation. Pictured: A Russian helicopter during a drill in western Belarus yesterday
However, Melinda Simmons, the British ambassador to Ukraine, clarified that the embassy would remain open and that it would remain in the capital, Kyiv.
Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called on Washington to publicly share information suggesting Russia plans to invade his country on Wednesday.
He told the United States: “If you have 100% information about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, please share it with us.”
The intelligence being studied by Mr. Biden would include the specific routes that could be taken by Russian units.
But claims of an imminent Russian invasion were dismissed as an “alarmist” symptom of US “hysteria” by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“The White House hysteria is more telling than ever,” she said. “The Anglo-Saxons need a war. At all costs. Provocations, misinformation and threats are their preferred method of solving their own problems.
Ms Zakharova also revealed that Russia was reducing its diplomatic staff in Ukraine because it feared “provocations” from authorities in Kyiv or “third countries”.
Defense experts suspect that Russia could use the excuse of an “attack” on a pro-Russian area of Ukraine as an excuse to send in troops.
Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Defense Select Committee, called the crisis “our Cuban missile crisis moment” as he called for British-led NATO divisions to be in the country. The Tory MP said: ‘An invasion is imminent. Once that happens, because of the grain going out of Ukraine to the world, it will affect food prices.
“Oil and gas prices will be affected, and European security will then be further threatened, so we have to ask ourselves, what should we do instead?”
“What are the calculations, and yes, there’s this Putin looking into his eyes and wondering what would happen.” This is our Cuban Missile Crisis moment.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace last night dismissed last-minute Western diplomatic efforts to halt Russian aggression as effective appeasement, saying there was a ‘wisp of Munich in the air’.
Warning that Russia could “launch an offensive at any time”, Mr Wallace said: “It may [Putin] just puts out his tanks and we all go home, but there’s a whiff of Munich in the air for some westerners.
Ms Truss also spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday to say ‘vital allies are united in our response to Russia’ and Britain is playing a leading role.
A Foreign Office source said Ms Truss’ talks with Mr Lavrov “were robust, but Liz delivered her messages and didn’t throw a punch”.
“She left Lavrov with no doubts about Britain’s position,” they added.
“An invasion would have catastrophic consequences for Russia and would backfire on the Kremlin.”