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UK and Ukraine lash out at ‘defeatist voices’ and urge pressure on Putin

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Victoria Jones/PA)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Foreign Secretary and her Ukrainian counterpart have urged the free world to ignore “defeatist voices” who propose a “sell out” for a “quick end to the unrelenting horror” of the war.

The pair insisted the Ukrainian people “do not have the luxury to feel fatigued”, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned pressure would grow to coerce the the nation to a “bad peace” due to economic stresses sparked by the Russian invasion.

Writing in The Telegraph, Liz Truss and Dmytro Kuleba called for strength and unity, as they said it is “imperative” the G7 and Nato demonstrate “their commitment to Ukraine will never be surpassed by (Vladimir) Putin’s determination to seize it” at summits in the coming week.

This means boosting and speeding up their supply of heavy weapons, continuing to impose sanctions on those “colluding” in the war, and cutting off Russian energy imports entirely, they said.

The pair said “those who propose sacrificing Ukraine’s land” are in fact “proposing paying in Ukrainian blood for the illusion of peace”.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Dan Kitwood/PA)

“It will be a mirage unless accompanied by the restitution of Ukrainian territory and the containment of Putin’s imperialism,” they added.

It comes after Boris Johnson warned Nato allies it would be a “disaster” to pressure Ukraine into accepting a “bad peace” deal that would see swathes of territory surrendered to Mr Putin.

Speaking earlier this week, he said he thought Ukraine would win the conflict, but “they need to be properly supported”.

There are concerns in Kyiv that Germany and France will push Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a ceasefire deal that would see him concede land to Moscow.

Mr Johnson said there is “no question there is a lot of Ukraine fatigue now in the world”.

Asked on Saturday what he meant by this, he said: “I know it is tough. I know it is tough in the UK. I know the cost of food has gone up. Everybody is looking at this and too many countries are saying this is a European war that is unnecessary.

“It is an economic problem that we don’t need and so the pressure will grow to encourage, coerce maybe the Ukrainians to a bad peace.”

Pressed on who this was coming from, he said: “I think just generally. I just think there is a general sentiment.”

Ms Truss and Mr Kuleba used their joint article to warn against “defeatist voices”.

“To get peace and protect our way of life, Ukraine and the free world need to stay strong and united,” they wrote.

“We must ignore the defeatist voices who insist people are beginning to tire and who propose to sell out Ukraine for a quick end to the unrelenting horror.”