Foreign Secretary flies to Moscow to urge de-escalation of Russian aggression against Ukraine

  • The Foreign Secretary will say the only way forward is for Russia to deescalate and pursue a diplomatic pathway

  • She will make clear that the Kremlin’s current strategy is damaging Russian standing and interests

  • The Foreign Secretary will also assert the right of Ukraine to self-determination and urge Russia to abide by the international agreements it has already signed up to

Liz Truss will fly to Moscow today to urge the Kremlin to de-escalate and desist its aggression against Ukraine.

The visit is the first by a UK Foreign Secretary in more than four years. During the two-day trip, the Foreign Secretary will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to make clear that the only way forward is for Russia to cease its aggression and engage in meaningful talks.

She will push for Russia to abide by the international agreements it has already signed up to – including the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, Minsk Protocols, and the Budapest memorandum, which ensures the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine is respected.

The UK is spearheading ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts – last week the Prime Minister visited Kyiv, and yesterday he hosted the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, and spoke to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte about the situation in Eastern Europe. The Foreign Secretary has also spoken to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra about the situation on Ukraine’s border in recent days.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

The UK is determined to stand up for freedom and democracy in Ukraine. I’m visiting Moscow to urge Russia to pursue a diplomatic solution and make clear that another Russian invasion of a sovereign state would bring massive consequences for all involved.

Russia should be in no doubt about the strength of our response. We have said many times that any further invasion would incur severe costs, including through a coordinated package of sanctions.

Russia has a choice here. We strongly encourage them to engage, de-escalate and choose the path of diplomacy.

This visit follows the announcement last week of legislation for the UK’s strongest ever sanctions regime against Russia. The new approach gives the UK unprecedented power to sanction a much broader range of individuals and businesses linked to Russia’s strategic interests, leaving those closest to the Kremlin with nowhere to hide.

While in Moscow, the Foreign Secretary will also visit Moscow State University, where she will see first-hand how physics and math lessons are building a generation of future science leaders – a shared interest between Russia and the UK.

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