Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warns Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine would be a ‘strategic mistake’ as she says ‘any suggestion that NATO is provoking the Russians is clearly false’
The Foreign Secretary said the UK will ‘stand with our fellow democracies against Russia’s malign activity’.
She rejected the narrative put forward by Moscow that NATO is ‘provoking’ Russia as she said: ‘Any suggestion that NATO is provoking the Russians is clearly false.’
Ms Truss made the comments ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga, Latvia today.
Liz Truss today warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine would be a ‘strategic mistake’
The Foreign Secretary said the UK will ‘stand with our fellow democracies against Russia’s malign activity’
The UK and the US have expressed concerns about the build-up of Russian forces on Russia’s border with Ukraine.
The Kremlin has dismissed claims that it is preparing to invade but Ukraine is seeking ‘swift’ action from its allies to ‘deter’ a potential incursion by Moscow.
Ms Truss today warned Mr Putin against making an aggressive move as she insisted the UK will ‘stand with’ its allies.
‘We want a world where freedom and democracy don’t just survive, they thrive,’ the Foreign Secretary said.
‘To this end, we will stand with our fellow democracies against Russia’s malign activity.
‘We will support Ukraine and stability in the western Balkans, to safeguard their security and build their economic resilience.
‘We have seen this playbook from the Kremlin before when Russia falsely claimed its illegal annexation of Crimea was a response to Nato aggression. Nato is an alliance forged on the principle of defence, not provocation. Any suggestion that Nato is provoking the Russians is clearly false.
‘Any action by Russia to undermine the freedom and democracy that our partners enjoy would be a strategic mistake.’
The meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga will focus on agreeing how to respond to Russia’s military build up near the Ukrainian border.
Ministers will also discuss the ongoing tensions on the border between Belarus and Poland.
Ahead of the summit in Latvia, the Foreign Secretary met British troops deployed in Estonia as part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence in the alliance’s eastern members.