Liz Truss warns West ‘didn’t take Putin seriously’ after the Cold War – ‘Eye off the ball

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In a damning assessment of the UK’s stance on Russia following the Cold War, The Foreign Secretary has warned the West had “taken its eye off the ball” since the Blair administration. Since the invasion, Ms Truss has sanctioned dozens of Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich.

Last month, she earned the anger of the Kremlin after saying that she supported Britons going to fight in Ukraine.

Russia responded by singling her out for criticism and announcing that it was going on heightened nuclear alert.

Speaking about Russia’s strategy, Ms Truss told The Times: “What we’ve seen is an attempt to create space for the Russians to regroup.

“Their invasion isn’t going according to plan. We don’t see any serious withdrawal of Russian troops or any serious proposals on the table.

“The Russians have lied and lied and lied. I fear the negotiation is yet another attempt to create a diversion and create a smokescreen from the appalling [atrocities] . . . I mean, if a country is serious about negotiations, it doesn’t indiscriminately bomb civilians that day.

“So I don’t think we’re yet at a point for negotiation. But of course, Ukraine as a sovereign nation is fully entitled to undertake any negotiation process it sees fit.”

Ms Truss suggested that the UK could act as a guarantor of any settlement between Ukraine and Russia.

She said: “I’m afraid to say there’s been a series of agreements that haven’t given Ukraine the security and self-determination it deserves.

“However, there is always a risk that as he doesn’t make progress he turns to more and more extreme actions, and we’ve seen appalling atrocities already committed in Ukraine.

“We are seeing Russian casualties on a scale I think he wasn’t expecting but we certainly shouldn’t be complacent that he is not going to attack, and that he won’t use worse and worse methods.”

The West is prepared, she says, for all eventualities, including the use of chemical or nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

READ MORE:‘Paranoid’ Putin ‘holding back’ full Russian army in ‘fear’

“There were a series of pivotal moments.

“And at every moment the West didn’t take seriously what Putin was planning.”



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