Truss vows to ‘follow in Johnson’s footsteps’ and be Ukraine’s ‘greatest friend’

Liz Truss will make President Volodymyr Zelensky her first foreign leader call if she becomes prime minister.

28 July 2022

Liz Truss has said she will be Ukraine’s “greatest friend” if she becomes prime minister, following in the footsteps of Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Secretary vowed to double down on support for Ukraine and to make President Volodymyr Zelensky her first foreign leader call if she becomes the next No 10 occupant.

Ms Truss also said she would update the Integrated Defence and Security Review in light of the conflict in Ukraine, something opposition MPs and the Commons Defence Select Committee have been seeking for months.

She said: “What transpires in Ukraine matters to us all. This isn’t just a battle for territory or a conflict between two nations, but a great struggle between those who believe in sovereignty and self-determination, and authoritarians who want to crush freedom and true democracy.

“As prime minister I will be Ukraine’s greatest friend – following in the footsteps of Boris Johnson – and commit completely to ensuring (Russian President Vladimir) Putin fails in Ukraine and suffers a strategic defeat, and that Russia is constrained in the future.

“This conflict is in the balance, and now is not the time for soundings off about concessions and compromises to an appalling dictator.

“Working with our partners in the West, we need to carry on providing weapons, aid, and diplomatic support under the terms of Article 51 of the UN Charter. I am the candidate the British people can trust on Ukraine, and that they can trust to defend our freedom at home and abroad.”

The Integrated Defence and Security Review, published in March 2021, was completed before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Nato’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

It sets out the Government’s vision for Britain’s role in the world over the next decade.

Ms Truss would add a new and updated focus on China and Russia, as she believes the invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing influence demand a new approach to the UK’s security.

She has already pledged to raise defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.

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