Ukraine must be 'catalyst' for new UK approach to global security, says Liz Truss

New approach must recognise 'return of geopolitics', UK foreign secretary will say in Mansion House speech

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey, London, on April 25. PA
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The West must prepare for the “long haul” to ensure Russia’s defeat in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will say as she calls for allies to increase defence spending and supply tanks and warplanes to Kyiv.

In a major speech, Ms Truss will say Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shows the need for a shake-up of the international structures that failed to prevent Russia’s actions, according to released excerpts of her speech.

She will say western allies must impose even tougher economic sanctions to increase Russia’s isolation, including cutting off oil and gas imports “once and for all”.

“There must be nowhere for Putin to go to fund this appalling war,” she will say at Mansion House in the City of London on Wednesday night.

“We cannot be complacent. The fate of Ukraine remains in the balance.

“And let’s be clear – if Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe. We would never feel safe again.

“So we must be prepared for the long haul and double down on our support for Ukraine. Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this.”

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has warned that weapons supplied by western countries “will be a legitimate target” and that Nato has effectively “entered into a war with Russia through proxies”.

The UK was one of only eight Nato members to meet the alliance’s goal of spending at least 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence in 2021.

Ms Truss will say there has been a “generation of underinvestment” in the West and the 2 per cent target should be “a floor, not a ceiling”.

The Russian invasion shows “the architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine”.

Russia’s position as a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council has limited the world body's ability to censure the Putin regime.

Ms Truss will set out a new approach that recognises “we’re seeing the return of geopolitics”.

The UK and its allies must “reboot, recast and remodel our approach to deterring aggressors” and the war in Ukraine “has to be a catalyst for wider change”.

“Our new approach will be based on three areas: military strength, economic security and deeper global alliances.

“I want to live in a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant … where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships … where aggressors are contained and moving toward a better path.

“This is the long-term prize: a new era of peace, security and prosperity.”

UN's Guterres condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine while in Moscow

UN's Guterres condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine while in Moscow

Ms Truss wants to see the G7 — the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy — playing a stronger role on the world stage.

She also wants to forge a stronger network of bilateral security and economic partnerships.

“Liz Truss’s speech appears to be an admission of failure after more than a decade of decline,” said the British shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy.

“The Conservatives wrongly de-emphasised European security in the Integrated Review, made deep cuts to the British army over many years, gave up soft power through cutting development, and hurt alliances with Europe and the United States including by risking peace in Northern Ireland."

Updated: April 26, 2022, 9:33 PM