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UK says Russian military incursion into Ukraine would come at 'severe cost'

UK says Russian military incursion into Ukraine would come at 'severe cost'
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss urges Russia to end 'malign activity'

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – Any military incursion into Ukraine by Russia would be a costly strategic mistake, Britain said Thursday.

Describing the UK’s commitment to Ukraine as “unwavering,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We stand with our friend against hostile actors.”

Truss gave a statement on the situation with Ukraine and Russia at the House of Commons and said her country would not “accept the campaign Russia is waging to subvert its democratic neighbours.”

“Any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake and would come at a severe cost,” Truss said.

Russia’s current campaign is “accompanied by baseless rhetoric and disinformation” and “they falsely cast Ukraine as a threat to justify their aggressive stance,” she added.

“They falsely accuse NATO of provocation,” the British foreign secretary said, noting that “NATO has always been a defensive alliance.”

She said: “Russia is the aggressor here. They have massed a huge number of troops along the Ukrainian border and in illegally-annexed Crimea.

“There is no justification whatsoever for Russia’s bellicose stance towards Ukraine. It is unprovoked. It is part of a wider pattern of behaviour by the Kremlin, reliant on disinformation and mistrust to seek to gain the upper hand.”

Truss accused Moscow of running a “long campaign to subvert freedom and democracy in Ukraine, from the invasion of 2014 to cyberattacks, disinformation and the weaponisation of energy supplies.”

“At the same time, they are backing the repressive actions of the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, … sowing the seeds of discord in the Western Balkans … and threatening our friends in the Baltic,” she said.

“I urge Russia to end its malign activity and stick to what has been agreed.”

Referring to a G7 foreign ministers meeting last month, Truss said the members had “called on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and abide by its commitments on the transparency of military activities.”

"We made clear that any further military incursion into Ukraine would bring massive consequences, including coordinated sanctions to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy," she said.

“The UK is working with our partners on these sanctions, including high-impact measures targeting the Russian financial sector and individuals.”

Truss also said she would join a NATO foreign ministers meeting tomorrow, ahead of talks between Russia and the US commence on Sunday.

source: News Feed
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