Liz Truss underlined Britain’s support for Ukraine in the war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, telling her party “we will stand with our Ukrainian friends however long it takes”.
The Prime Minister pointed to the West’s failure to face down the Russian president, saying: “We did not stand up to Russia early enough. We will make sure this never happens again.”
Turning to defence and security during her speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, she said: “One of the reasons we’re facing this global crisis is because collectively the West did not do enough.
“We became complacent, we didn’t spend enough on defence. We became too dependent on authoritarian regimes for cheap goods and cheap energy.”
To applause, she added: “We did not stand up to Russia early enough. We will make sure this never happens again.”
Ms Truss told members: “We’re increasing defence spending to 3% of GDP by the end of the decade.”
She added: “This will ensure that our armed forces are ready to tackle new and emerging threats. We are working with our friends and allies to support Ukraine in the face of Putin’s brutal war.
“The brave Ukrainian people aren’t just fighting for their security but for all our security – this is a fight for freedom and democracy around the world.
“Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory is just the latest act in his campaign to subvert democracy and violate international law.
“We should not give in to those who want a deal which trades away Ukrainian land. They are proposing to pay in Ukrainian lives for the illusion of peace. We will stand with our Ukrainian friends however long it takes.
“Ukraine can win, Ukraine must win and Ukraine will win.”
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