Ukraine: We haven’t seen enough from UN says Truss
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Ms Truss, in a keynote speech at Mansion House in London, urged the West to do more to deter future Russian aggression, all while raising the alarm over Vladimir Putin’s alleged ambition to invade other countries, including Georgia and Moldova.
The Foreign Secretary is understood to believe the conflict, which has this week surpassed the two-month mark, could realistically last up to 10 years, The Times reports.
In the clearest statement yet of the UK’s willingness to stand up against Moscow, which had until now been limited to claiming the invasion of Ukraine “must fail and be seen to fail”, Ms Truss said: “We will keep going further and faster.”
Calling for Western allies to do the same, she said they must “double down” in their efforts “to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine.”
Liberating the entire country of Putin’s forces would imply they leave not only the territory occupied since February 24 but also the areas seized and annexed in 2014 – including Crimea and the rebel-held Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbas.
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Russia’s intentions, however, are exactly the opposite.
The Kremlin announced on March 25 the first phase of its “military operation” in Ukraine was mostly complete and it would now focus on fully “liberating” the Donbas.
There have so far been few advances in the area, with the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) claiming the Russians have “failed” to take down Ukraine’s air defences in its battle and Kyiv “continues to hold Russian air assets at risk”.
Yet that does not mean Putin’s aspirations have lost weight.
Ms Truss cautioned if Moscow succeeded in making territorial gains it could inflict “untold further misery across Europe”.
Fears have risen in recent weeks Moldova’s breakaway region Transnistria, which is controlled by pro-Russian separatists and permanently hosts 1,500 Russian troops as well as a large arms depot, could be dragged into the war.
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The region, which borders western Ukraine, claimed on Wednesday, April 27, shots were fired toward a village that houses an ammunition depot, while the interior ministry said in a statement several drones had been detected flying over the village of Cobasna overnight.
After a meeting of her security council on Tuesday, April 26, Moldova’s president, Maia Sandu, said certain unnamed “forces inside Transnistria” were in “favour of war” and were interested in destabilising the situation in the region.
In face of a potential escalation of the conflict to other European countries, the Foreign Secretary said: “We must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom.”
The increasingly strong stance of Britain on the war is no secret to Putin, who advised the West against “intervening” in his goals.
Addressing ministers in St Petersburg, the Russian leader said: “If anyone intends, and I underline this again, to intervene in the ongoing events [in Ukraine] and create unacceptable strategic threats for Russia, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be as quick as lightning.
“We have all the tools for this. The kind that no one else can boast of right now.
“But we won’t brag. We will use them if they are needed. And I want everyone to know this. All the decisions on this matter have already been made.”
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