UK to end 'strategic dependence on authoritarian regimes' for energy and vital resources - Foreign Secretary

Liz Truss said Putin had been 'surprised' by the 'toughness' of sanctions levelled against his regime

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said the UK must accelerate NATO's modernisation and deepen cooperation on tech and cyber, with a view to ending the "strategic dependence on authoritarian regimes for our energy and for other vital resources."

She added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been “surprised” by the “toughness” of sanctions levelled against his regime.

Speaking at a press conference with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in Washington, she said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is causing immense pain and suffering. Yet he is not making the progress he planned.

“Since the build-up on the border, the United Kingdom and the United States have led work in the G7 and through Nato to challenge Putin’s aggression.

“Before the invasion, the United States and the UK called out his playbook of false flags, attempts to install a puppet regime in Kyiv, of fake provocations. We worked with our G7 allies to warn that he would face severe costs and a determined Ukrainian people.

“We have surprised Putin with our unity and the toughness of our sanctions, hitting the banks, the ships, the planes, the oligarchs, and the oil and gas revenues. And the brave Ukrainian people have surprised him with their determination and their leadership.

“Now is not the time to let up. Putin must fail.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Russian attack on a hospital is “absolutely abhorrent” but continued to reject Ukraine’s request for a no-fly zone to be imposed in its skies.

Speaking in Washington, she said: “The best way we can protect the skies is through anti-air weaponry which the UK is now going to be supplying to Ukraine.

“Of course the attack on the hospital is absolutely abhorrent, reckless and appalling.”