U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has delivered a staunch defense of Ukraine, accusing Russia of inflaming tensions in the region and warning Vladimir Putin that a Russian invasion would be a “massive strategic mistake.”
Truss confirmed via her social media on Thursday that she had been in discussions with U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken over what has been perceived by the West as Russia’s latest acts of aggression towards Ukraine.
In a statement, the U.K.’s foreign secretary condemned the Kremlin’s “aggressive and inflammatory rhetoric against Ukraine and NATO.”
“NATO is a defensive alliance and Ukraine continues to show commendable restraint in the face of Russian provocation and aggression,” she added.
Truss warned Russia that any incursion would be a “massive strategic mistake and would be met with strength, including coordinated sanctions with our allies to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy.”
The U.K. reiterated its unwavering support for Ukraine and told Russia its only way out of the current situation is “through dialogue”, and welcomed the fact that Russia has signaled its willingness to enter talks in January.
U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken delivered a similar message in a united response, promising allied co-operation to impose “massive consequences and severe costs” for Russia for any further aggression.
The British government has continued to boost its trade and security ties with Ukraine in recent months. Britain’s credit agency UK Export Finance has increased its support for British exporters in Ukraine to £3.5 billion, whilst the U.K. Royal Navy is supporting its Ukrainian counterpart through new capabilities and defense training.