Liz Truss was reinforced by Ben Wallace’s view that Russian forces must be expelled from “the whole Ukraine”, and suggested that this should also include Crimea.
On Wednesday night, Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, stated that Western allies including the UK must “double down” in order to push Russia out of Ukraine.
Sky News asked Ms Truss if she was referring to Crimea which was annexed by Russia back in 2014. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace responded: “Well, the international communion believes Russia should leave Ukraine.
“The invasion of Crimea by Russia in 2014 was condemned by the international community. The Russian invasion of Donetsk was not recognized as illegal by the international community.
“We don’t recognize it, and we’ve always said that Russia should be free from sovereign territory. That hasn’t changed.
“We support Ukraine’s sovereign integrity”
When asked how much the West would support Ukraine in exiling Russian forces, Wallace replied that there was still a lot of work to be done before Ukraine could regain control of Crimea.
Sky News reported that “There is still a lot to be done before Ukraine invades Crimea.”
“I believe what I would definitely say is that we support Ukraine’s sovereign integrity. That’s what we have done all along. This includes Crimea.
“But, you know, let’s first get Russia out from where they are in its invasion plans, and help Ukraine resolve. And, finally, let us remember that the Minsk Agreement, which Russia has basically torn up, was about trying to solve those two occupied territories.
“But, the most important thing is to continue supporting Ukraine’s sovereign integrity as well as their ability to defend themselves.”
Both Ms Truss’s and Mr Wallace’s comments suggest that the UK government believes Russian troops must be expelled from the territory they have occupied since February. However, the UK also considers areas they have occupied and annexed in the past. This includes Crimea and parts the eastern Donbas.
Truss – China must “play by the rules”
The foreign secretary warned the country to “play according to the rules” in her Wednesday evening speech.
China voted to retain Russia as a member in good standing of the United Nations Human Rights Council. China also abstained from voting against the invasion of Iraq at the beginning of the conflict.
China is not invincible. They won’t continue to rise if the rules are not followed,” Ms Truss stated.
China needs trade with G7. Our share of the global economy is approximately half. We have many options.
“We have demonstrated with Russia that we are prepared to make the right choices when international rules are broken.”
The foreign secretary addressed the UK’s allies during the keynote speech on foreign policy. He also stated that the war in Ukraine was “everybody’s war” because Ukraine’s victory would be a strategic imperative for everyone.
After a 63rd-day of fighting, Kherson was particularly hard hit.
Russian television channels were briefly cut off-air after a series explosions in the city’s southern part, which was occupied since the beginning of the war by Russian troops.
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In key developments:
- Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, arrives in Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zeleskyy
- Moscow claims that Russian missiles struck an American and European weapons depot.
- A Dunkirk-style evacuation is ordered for the commander who is trapped in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks.
- Russian forces have made Severodonetsk, the frontline Ukrainian city, a major target
- More than 5,000 anti-tank missiles have been sent by the UK to Ukraine by the UK – MoD
- Russia exiles eight Japanese diplomats and three Norwegian diplomats
- Russia cut off natural gas supplies to NATO member countries Poland and Bulgaria, and threatened to do so to other countries.
Putin: The goals of Ukraine’s military operation will be met
In the meantime, President Vladimir Putin warned against “lightning fast” retaliation against any country which interferes with the conflict.
The Russian leader, speaking to the Council of Legislators of St Petersburg, stated that “all the objectives” will be achieved in the Ukraine war.
He stated that anyone who wants to interfere with what is happening from the outside must be aware of this as an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia.
“They should know that we will respond to counter-strikes lightning-fast,”
He also promised that he would achieve the goals of his military operation against Ukraine.
Continue reading: A city that has been under attack since day one
Concerns are rising for the 100,000 civilians who remain in Mariupol, which is under siege.
After a meeting between UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President Putin, it was agreed that the United Nations should assist in the evacuation of civilians trapped in a south-eastern steel plant.