Foreign Minister warns Russian incursion into Ukraine would be a strategic mistake

  • Foreign Minister Liz Truss attends her first meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Latvia this week

  • Foreign Minister will take this opportunity to stress the importance of NATO, demonstrating the strength of a “freedom network” against malicious activities

  • The meeting follows a visit by the Foreign Minister to see British troops deployed as part of NATO’s collective defense in Estonia

Foreign Minister Liz Truss will highlight the UK’s continued commitment to the Transatlantic Alliance as a core defense, protecting democracy, security and prosperity, at her first meeting of Foreign Ministers in NATO today.

The priority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs is the need for the Allies to unite to oppose the continued destabilizing actions of Russia and Belarus. This follows the accumulation of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and the cruel instrumentalisation of migration by Belarus. Russia has also tried to use economic coercion to undermine NATO Allies in recent years, for example by seeking to exploit energy dependency.

The Foreign Minister will call on the Allies to come together, to resist any Russian aggression while maintaining open channels of communication to expose our intentions and values. It will underline NATO’s objective as an organization for collective defense and deterrence, denouncing recent Russian misrepresentation that the Alliance seeks to provoke. Russia has already used such claims that NATO’s aggression justified the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to take this position to try to create a false pretext. Indeed, Russia just said this week that NATO’s response to an accumulation of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine is an act of hostility rather than deterrence. She will stress that an incursion into Ukraine would be a strategic mistake, and the United Kingdom will use all diplomatic and economic levers at its disposal to avoid this result.

The Foreign Minister will stress the need for NATO Allies to increase their financial commitments to the Alliance in response to these and other hybrid threats, and will encourage countries to support Ukraine’s defenses. UK helps Ukraine build military capability and ability to work with other forces, including through Operation Orbital, in which the UK has trained over 21,000 personnel of the Ukrainian army. Both Ukraine and Georgia will attend the meeting this week in Riga as key NATO partners.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss said:

We want a world where freedom and democracy don’t just survive, they thrive. To this end, we will oppose our fellow democracies against the malicious activities of Russia.

We will support Ukraine and stability in the Western Balkans, in order to preserve their security and strengthen their economic resilience.

We’ve seen this Kremlin playbook before when Russia falsely claimed that its illegal annexation of Crimea was a response to NATO aggression. NATO is an alliance forged on the principle of defense, not provocation. Any suggestion that NATO provokes the Russians is clearly wrong.

Any action by Russia aimed at undermining the freedom and democracy enjoyed by our partners would be a strategic error.

Ahead of the meeting, the Foreign Minister visited Estonia to show her support for British troops protecting NATO’s territorial integrity on NATO’s eastern flank. More than 800 British troops are currently stationed there as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, with collective forces across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

In view of NATO’s New Strategic Concept, Foreign Ministers will discuss new and emerging forms of Hybrid Warfare and the need to continue work to ensure the Alliance’s sustainability against these threats. Allies will also discuss continuing work to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorism.

This follows the publication of the Integrated Review earlier this year, which brought together diplomacy, development and defense to strengthen the UK’s ability to build a global network of freedom and protection against malicious actors. This has been supported by the largest investment in our defense in thirty years and an invigorated and expanded diplomatic network.

After Estonia and Latvia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will travel to Stockholm for the annual OSCE Ministerial Council. The meeting will bring together the 57 OSCE participating States, most of them represented by their foreign ministers, and will be a forum for further discussions on issues critical to the security of the region, including human rights violations. in Belarus and the situation in Ukraine.


  • Photos are available on Flickr

Source link


Comments are closed.