British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned Russia against invading Ukraine, warning that Moscow would be embroiled in a conflict similar to the Soviet military operation in Afghanistan. “The Kremlin has not learned the lessons of history. An invasion will only drag us into a terrible swamp and result in a loss of lives comparable to what we saw in the Soviet-Afghan war and in the conflict in Chechnya,” she said during a visit to Sydney, Australia on Friday. January 21.
Truss urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his mind and retreat from Ukraine before he makes a “huge strategic mistake.” She stressed that the UK, together with its allies, will continue to support Ukraine and urge Russia to de-escalate and have serious discussions. “What happens in Eastern Europe matters to the whole world,” London newspaper The Guardian quoted the minister as saying.
“Export of dictatorship”
The head of the British Foreign Office noted that she sees the current crisis over Ukraine as part of a larger conflict between liberal democracies and autocracies, among which she attributed Russia and China. “Autocracies have become bolder to a level not seen since the Cold War. They are trying to export dictatorship as a service around the world. That is why regimes such as Belarus, North Korea and Myanmar find their closest allies in Moscow and Beijing,” said Liz Truss.
Truss made this statement hours before talks in Geneva between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the situation around Ukraine. The West threatens Russia with unprecedented sanctions in case of a new invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.
Over the past week, a whole series of international meetings on Ukraine has already taken place, but they have not made it possible to achieve significant detente. Russia has deployed up to 100,000 troops to the border of Ukraine and is demanding legally binding guarantees from NATO not to accept this country into its membership. The North Atlantic Alliance calls these demands unacceptable, emphasizing that NATO’s doors will remain open to new members.