UK's strategic endurance 'will see Ukraine through to victory'

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will use conference speech to say UK stands 'shoulder to shoulder with brave Ukrainians'

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. PA
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UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will use his Conservative Party conference speech to declare that Britain has the “strategic endurance” to see Ukraine through to victory over Russian invaders.

Ukraine has Britain’s unwavering support in its efforts to push back Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces, Mr Cleverly will say.

He will assert that “we are players on the pitch” and not just “commentators”, according to early released excerpts of his speech.

Britain has increased sanctions against Moscow, with new measures aimed at vulnerable sectors of the economy, in response to Mr Putin’s “illegal” annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Mr Cleverly will repeat Prime Minister Liz Truss’s vow that the UK will never accept Mr Putin’s claim to the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia or Crimea.

He is expected to say that the UK is "making a difference. Promoting our values. Competing on the world stage for what we believe is right".

“We believe in freedom," Mr Cleverly will say. "We believe in the rule of law. We believe that an aggressor cannot invade its neighbour with impunity.

“This is why we stand shoulder to shoulder with those brave Ukrainians defending their homeland.

“And Britain has the strategic endurance to see them through to victory.”

Vladimir Putin annexes four regions of Ukraine - in pictures

He will say that Ukrainians have defended their homeland “ferociously” and that their bravery has been “amplified” by arms and training supplied by the UK.

“We will support them until this war is won. We will support them until their sovereignty is restored.

“We will never recognise the annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia or Crimea.

“They are Ukraine. And when Ukraine has won this war then we will support them as they rebuild their homes, their economy and their society.”

Moscow-run referendums begin in Russian-held areas of Ukraine - video

The latest move by Russia, which is under pressure after Ukrainian successes on the battlefield, has prompted condemnation globally and has been rejected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Mr Putin recently threatened to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect his country, seen as a sign that he could use tactical nuclear weapons in response to attacks on parts of Ukraine he has annexed.

In a further sign of escalation, he also announced a partial military mobilisation of 300,000 reservists.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 9:30 PM
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