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Liz Truss Says NATO Must Announce “Tough New Sanctions” To Stop Money “Flowing Into Putin's War Machine”

Liz Truss Says NATO Must Announce “Tough New Sanctions” To Stop Money “Flowing Into Putin's War Machine”

Liz Truss gave a press conference in Poland after meeting her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba (Sky News)

4 min read

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has called on NATO allies to announce a “tough new wave of sanctions” against Russia to go after industries “filling up Putin's war chest” and funding the invasion of Ukraine.

Downing Street has described evidence of dozens of civilians being executed in the town of Bucha after it was retaken by Ukrainian forces as “barbaric”.

Truss said the “reality is that money is still flowing from the West into Putin's war machine” and further economic measures are needed to deter him.

She was speaking at a press conference in the Polish capital, Warsaw, after a meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba today ahead of key global talks in Brussels.

"Later this week, the G7 foreign ministers and the NATO foreign ministers will meet,” Truss said.

“We need to announce a tough new wave of sanctions. The reality is that money is still flowing from the West into Putin's war machine. That has to stop.

“In Brussels I will be working with our partners to go further, as has been advocated by Dmytro, in banning Russian ships from our ports, and cracking down on Russian banks and going after new industries filling up Putin's war chest, like gold, and agreeing a clear timetable to eliminate our imports of Russian oil, gas and coal.”

She also said the West needs to provide "even more weapons of the type Ukrainians are asking for", adding the UK is supplying them with next-generation light anti-tank weapons, Javelin missiles and Starstreak anti-aircraft systems.

Addressing Kuleba standing alongside her, Truss said the UK was backing him “unwaveringly” in negotiations with Russia, adding: “And together we will not rest until Putin fails and Ukraine prevails.”

The foreign secretary will hold talks with Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on Tuesday, and has also pledged a £10million civil society fund for Ukraine, including support for organisations dealing with sexual violence following reports of Russian forces using rape as a way to terrorise the civilian population.

Earlier Truss called for Russia to be suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"Given strong evidence of war crimes, including reports of mass graves and heinous butchery in Bucha, Russia cannot remain a member of the UN Human Rights Council," she tweeted.

"Russia must be suspended.”

Ahead of talks in Poland, the foreign secretary said: "Putin is yet to show he is serious about diplomacy.

“A tough approach from the UK and our allies is vital to strengthen Ukraine's hand in negotiations.”

Truss said while Britain has “helped lead the way” with sanctions the government “will do more to ramp up the pressure on Russia” and keep pushing other countries to do more.

"We will continue to support those who are suffering as a result of Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, including the victims of sexual violence and those in need of humanitarian support,” she added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said today that "Britain will never waver from supporting our friends" in a sign of the increased commitment to defend Ukraine.

"The discovery of more mass graves outside Kyiv is sickening," he said. 

"The UK will not stand by whilst this indiscriminate and unforgivable slaughter takes place.

"We are working to ensure those responsible are held to account. We will not rest until justice is done.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke to Johnson over the weekend, said there will be a "new package" of "very, very tangible support” from the UK.

Johnson's spokesperson said the scenes coming out of Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine over the weekend were "barbaric".

"These are despicable attacks against innocent civilians, and they are yet more evidence that Putin and his army are committing what appear to be war crimes in Ukraine,” they added

“They certainly leave us in no doubt that it's entirely right to continue to go further on sanctions, on defensive military aid, and all other measures to put pressure on Putin and his regime to turn back and stop this war."

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