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Liz Truss says West 'knew what Putin was doing' as she rallies allies to 'be tough'


Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has warned the Western world is now “paying the price” for “years of complacency” as the invasion of Ukraine enters its third week. Speaking in the US on Thursday she continued to state that Russia “built its capabilities in plain sight”, but the deadly attacks in Ukraine has now isolated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nation with only “a vassal state, a rogue state, and a war criminal” supporting Moscow.

The cabinet minister was giving the Makins Lecture at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington after travelling to the States on Wednesday to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and reiterate the nations’ stance on the no-fly zone Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly pleaded for.

Ms Truss said on Thursday: “We knew what Putin was doing. We had the intelligence… but actually we didn’t need it, because Putin announced his designs on Ukraine in public.

“He set his plans down in black and white and put them up on the Kremlin’s website.

“But still we didn’t want to believe it. Well, we believe it now. The world has woken up.

READ MORE: Smiling Macron revels in spotlight as Europe on brink of war

“Never did we think the great nation of Russia would be reduced to this – aside from Eritrea, its only allies are now a vassal state, a rogue state, and a war criminal.

“Putin is shunned and isolated. He has made his country a global pariah.”

Drawing a comparison between the Ukraine crisis and the World Trade Centre terror attack in 2001, Ms Truss said: “How we respond today will set the pattern for this new era.”

Ms Truss went on to urge Western leaders to alter their approach to dealing with aggressors, stating it is time to end “strategic dependence” on unfriendly states, including the dependency on Russian energy.

This comes as Boris Johnson vowed to wane Britain off Russian oil and gas imports by the end of this year as a part of the crippling sanctions imposed on the Kremlin.

Ms Truss said countries should also be “exploring other possible areas of dependence”.

She stated: “Whether it’s minerals or rare earth metals, we should work to prevent future problems before they emerge.”



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