USA, Canada, Ukraine and UK Set To Attend European Union Foreign Affairs Council
Liz Truss has said she is due to attend a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council next week to discuss further joint Western responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In light of “the extraordinary circumstances” in Eastern Europe, the USA, Canada and Ukraine will also be present at the meeting.
The foreign secretary confirmed her attendance during a joint press conference with her counterparts in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on Thursday morning.
Truss has been in Lithuania holding discussions with Baltic foreign ministers on how to offer further support to Ukraine, as well as shoring up military defence capabilities in Nato states close to the Russian border.
“It's vital at this juncture that we keep our foot on the gas,” Truss told the press conference.
“We've worked with the US, the EU and the G7 to cut off funding for Putin's war machine, kicking Russian banks out of the financial system,” she added.
“We've also shut our airspace to Russian planes and we're fast-forwarding sanctions against Russian oligarchs. But we need to go further.”
During the press conference Truss reaffirmed Britain’s commitment to ensuring every Russian bank is cut off from the Swift financial transactions system.
The foreign secretary also pledged to reduce Britain and the wider West’s dependency on Russian hydrocarbons including oil, gas and coal.
“This is a struggle not just for Ukraine's freedom and self-determination, but for all of our freedom and security,” Truss said.
“By continuing to respond with strength, we will together ensure that Putin loses, and we stand with our brave allies here in the Baltics to do just that.”
Discussing the security concerns of Nato member states in Eastern Europe, the foreign minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said: “We have to move on from deterrence to defence.
“We need a change of political approach… so that Putin decides to test Nato resistance in this region we can respond right away.”
Tomorrow Truss is due to attend a meeting of the G7 where further coordinated sanctions against Russia will be among the topics discussed.
There remains a handful of Russian billionaires with alleged ties to the Russian government who have been sanctioned by the US or EU, but not by Britain.
Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has called on Western leaders to sanction 35 individuals, whose names have been listed and widely distributed across social media platforms.
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