Liz Truss seeks a ‘global Nato’ approach to allies

Foreign secretary sets sights on stronger support for friendly nations

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. PA
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Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said the defence of one by all at the heart of the Nato alliance must become a global security and economic principle.

Ms Truss told leaders at Mansion House in the City of London that the new geopolitics after the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant that Nato countries should operate defence alliances beyond Europe.

“I mean that Nato must have a global outlook, ready to tackle global threats,” she said. “We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected.”

Ms Truss said the G7 countries should adopt a similar approach, “collectively defending our prosperity”.

She said the UK would go “further and faster” in providing the heavy weapons required to push Russia out of all of Ukraine.

Ms Truss said it was “time for courage, not caution”, making it necessary for the West to send warplanes to Kyiv to defeat Moscow.

But she also warned that the invasion had shown global institutions, such as the UN and G20, had failed to curtail Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions, with the country's veto on the Security Council a “green light to barbarism”.

Ms Truss's outspoken demand to drive Russia out of Ukraine, including its removal from Crimea and the separatist territories seized in 2014, was the clearest signal yet that the West would not compromise until Mr Putin’s troops had been entirely thrown out.

The speech will further heighten tension after a British defence minister this week said it was “legitimate” for arms supplied by the UK to be used on targets inside Russia.

Moscow has responded by again raising the threat of nuclear war, suggesting it could strike supply lines outside Ukraine, possibly in Poland.

But Ms Truss was stark in her comments, which are among the strongest messages yet to Moscow that it now faces a formidable foe in Nato and an immense challenge in Ukraine.

“We will keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine,” she said on Wednesday evening.

“Some argue we shouldn’t provide heavy weapons for fear of provoking something worse. Inaction would be the greatest provocation. This is a time for courage, not caution.”

Despite Nato countries sending artillery, heavy anti-aircraft weapons, tanks and advanced missiles, Ms Truss urged them to “double down” in support for Ukraine as the war could be a “long haul”.

“Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production, we need to do all of this,” she said.

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

If Mr Putin were victorious, there would be “untold further misery across Europe”, and “terrible consequences across the globe”.

Ms Truss said Europe must cut itself off from Russian energy supplies and stop sending millions of dollars into Mr Putin’s war chest.

“There must be nowhere for Putin to go to fund this appalling war,” she said. “That means cutting off oil and gas imports once and for all.”

Ms Truss said Nato must ensure the security of other East European countries that are prone to Russian aggression, including Moldova, Georgia and the Western Balkans.

Updated: April 28, 2022, 9:11 AM