UK urges G7 to expand sanctions on Russia

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also called for Ukraine to have easier access to Nato-standard equipment

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Russian President Vladimir Putin is 'humiliating himself on the international stage'. PA

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UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has pushed allies to agree to further waves of sanctions against Russia to “constrain further aggression” as she met G7 foreign ministers in Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “humiliating himself”, she said, as she repeated calls to increase support for Ukraine.

She also called for Ukraine to have easier access to more advanced equipment as it defends itself against Russia.

“Putin is humiliating himself on the world stage. We must ensure he faces a defeat in Ukraine that denies him any benefit and ultimately constrains further aggression,” Ms Truss said.

“The best long-term security for Ukraine will come from it being able to defend itself. That means providing Ukraine with a clear pathway to Nato-standard equipment."

During Thursday's meeting, Ms Truss also encouraged other ministers to commit to further waves of sanctions for as long as Russian troops stay in Ukraine, the Foreign Office said.

The G7 foreign ministers will be joined by the Ukrainian and Moldovan foreign ministers at another meeting in Schleswig-Holstein on Friday, where they will discuss Ukraine.

The Foreign Office added that Ms Truss will travel to Berlin on Saturday to meet Nato foreign ministers and will push for a “strengthened and modernised” version of the western military alliance.

Her comments follow an announcement from Finland's leaders that they now support the country joining Nato. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Finland signing a historic security pact with the UK.

Finland has previously opted to stay neutral and keep out of Nato for fear of antagonising Russia but public support for joining the alliance has grown in the country since Mr Putin began his attack on Ukraine in February.

On Thursday, Russia threatened retaliation over the move. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The expansion of Nato and the approach of the alliance to our borders does not make the world and our continent more stable and secure.”

Finland shares an over 1330-kilometre land border with Russia, with St Petersburg only a few hours’ drive from the divide.

On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to “mutual security assurances” with both Sweden and Finland, through which British troops could be sent to Nordic nations in the event of a Russian invasion.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 9:30 PM