Foreign Minister fears that the war in Ukraine could last for a decade, reports suggest.
Liz Truss called for Russia’s invasion of its neighbor to be a catalyst for the West’s completely revised approach to international security.
Speaking in London’s Mansion House in a major speech on foreign policy and security, Mrs Truss branded Vladimir Putin a ‘desperate, junk operator’ and warned of China’s progress.
She also expressed fears that states like Moldova or Georgia could be drawn into the war.
Mrs Truss called on Britain to strengthen its military while building alliances with free nations and using economic power to deter aggressors who ‘do not play by the rules’.
And she suggested that NATO should be prepared to open its doors to countries such as Finland and Sweden – adding that the G7 group should act as an “economic NATO” to defend collective prosperity.
The foreign minister is believed to see the war as a long-term victory, expecting it to realistically last up to five years – or even as long as a decade, The Times and the Daily Mail reported.
But she turned her attention to China, which has refused to condemn Russia and increased its imports from Putin’s nation, Ms Truss continued: ‘China is not impenetrable. They will not continue to get up if they do not play by the rules.
‘China needs trade with G7. We represent about half of the global economy. And we have choices.
“Together with Russia, we have shown the kind of choices we are prepared to make when international rules are violated.”
Mrs Truss’ intervention comes amid continuing questions about Boris Johnson’s future ahead of impending local elections and the possibility of further party fines.
The Secretary of State is seen as a frontrunner in any race to replace him.
She also condemned international institutions for not guaranteeing peace and prosperity over the attack on Ukraine.
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“Russia is capable of blocking any effective action in the UN Security Council,” she said.
“Putin sees his veto as a green light for barbarism.”
She called for the invasion to be ‘a catalyst for broader change’ and continued: ‘Now we need a new approach, one that unites tough security and economic security, one that builds stronger global alliances and where free nations are more confident and self-confident, one who recognizes geopolitics is back. ‘
In the short term, she called on Western allies to ‘double’ support for the government in Kiev, providing the heavy weapons it needs ‘to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine’.
This statement can be seen as controversial, as it has previously taken over parts of Ukrainian territory, and the Prime Minister has branded the negotiating position of preserving its entire territory “rather maximalist”.
At home, Mrs Truss said the situation should mean an increase in defense spending with NATO of at least 2% of national income a “floor not a ceiling”.
She also said that non-NATO members, Georgia and Moldova, should have the means to preserve their sovereignty and freedom as the fear of war escalates.
Ms Truss added that Finland and Sweden, if they choose to join NATO, should be integrated into the alliance ‘as soon as possible’.
She called on NATO – which has traditionally been focused on defending Europe – to adopt a “global view” – along with allies such as Japan and Australia, to ensure that democracies such as Taiwan are able to defend themselves.
Ms Truss said they should be prepared to stand up to ‘aggressors’ who try to exploit their economic power as a ‘foreign policy tool’ to exercise control and force others.
“Access to the global economy must depend on playing by the rules. There can be no more exemption cards, “she argued.
‘We are showing this with the Russia-Ukraine conflict – Russia’s passport has been revoked.
“The G7 should act as an economic NATO that jointly defends our prosperity.
“If a partner’s finances are hit by an aggressive regime, we should act to support them.”
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