Russia: UK warned of consequences of sanctions by expert
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Economic sanctions are among the arsenal of “severe” actions they may deploy, Ms Truss said. It comes as Russia bolsters its military muscle near the Ukrainian border, with experts fearing the Russian president could decide to invade by mid-January. Speaking at the end of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Liverpool, Ms Truss said: “We’ve been clear that any incursion by Russia into Ukraine would have massive consequences for which there would be a severe cost.
“We have sent a very clear united message to Vladimir Putin from this G7 meeting. And we are very clear that there will be severe consequences if that incursion took place.
“This is about deterring Russia from taking that. But let’s be clear, when the UK has wanted to send clear messages and achieve clear goals, we have been prepared to use economic sanctions. So we are considering all options.”
Ms Truss will turn her sights on another European flashpoint today as she warns Russia against “sowing the seeds of discord” in the Western Balkans.
Writing exclusively in the Daily Express, she promises the UK will “not look away” as security in the region “hangs in the balance”.
Taking aim at Putin ally Milorad Dodik – the Bosnian Serb leader accused of risking war by breaking up Bosnia and Herzegovina – she says: “President Dodik is flaunting the support of Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, Russia is sowing the seeds of discord by refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-level institutions. Tensions are being stoked by the persistent denial of genocide and other war crimes.
This could not be more destructive for a region scarred by the worst bloodshed in Europe since the Second World War, marked by crimes against humanity including the massacre of more than 8,000 people at Srebrenica.”
G7 foreign ministers, made up of representatives from the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union, said they are “united in our condemnation of Russia’s military build-up and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine” following weekend talks in Liverpool.
In a statement yesterday, they said: “We call on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels and abide by its international commitments on transparency of military activities, as President Biden did in his call with President Putin on December 7. Any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited under international law.
“Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response.
“We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future. We commend Ukraine’s posture of restraint.
“We will intensify our co-operation on our common and comprehensive response.” Ms Truss will host a high-level meeting between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia in London today.
The European Union and the United States will also be represented at Lancaster House.
Comment by Liz Truss
After a quarter of a century of peace, many hoped Bosnia and Herzegovina had left behind the shadows of its war-torn past. But now, malign actors threaten to tear this proud country apart.
The United Kingdom will not look away as the security of the Western Balkans, a vital region on our doorstep, hangs in the balance.
That is why today I am welcoming to London our friends from Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries to promote the peace, freedom and prosperity of the entire region.
Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s three-way presidency, is threatening to pull the Republika Srpska territory unilaterally out of state institutions, in a worryingly irresponsible campaign deemed “de facto secession” by the international High Representative Christian Schmidt.
We cannot let this dangerous ploy divert attention away from the failure to improve the living standards of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While President Dodik is flaunting the support of Vladimir Putin, Russia is sowing the seeds of discord by refusing to recognise the legitimacy of the High Representative as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-level institutions. Tensions are being stoked by the persistent denial of genocide and other war crimes.
This could not be more destructive for a region scarred by the worst bloodshed in Europe since the Second World War, including the massacre of 8,000 people at Srebrenica.
It is vital we challenge the forces of hate and division vying to unravel the progress of the last two decades. We have appointed Sir Stuart Peach as the Prime Minister’s special envoy for the Western Balkans. He has long experience in the region, including as our former Chief of Defence Staff and chair of Nato’s Military Committee. He will drive forward deeper security ties: facilitating dialogue and promoting integration in cooperation with the High Representative.
The best way forward lies in freedom-loving democracies clubbing together. That is why we must be unwavering in our support for High Representative Schmidt.
Now is the time for the free world to stand with Bosnia and Herzegovina. By deepening our economic and security ties with the Western Balkans, we can work side-by-side in preserving security, liberty and prosperity. Together, we can succeed in our mission to ensure freedom and democracy do not just survive – but thrive.
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