Ukraine invasion, a call for change of approach on global aggressors – UK foreign secretary

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The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has said there was a need for a “reboot” in the free world’s approach to tackling global aggressors in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

The Foreign Secretary made the statement on Wednesday while delivering a speech at Mansion House at the annual Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet.

She argued that Ukraine needs to be a “catalyst” for a change in the way the free world deters global aggressors.

Truss speech outlined a call for global action in three areas, including stronger deterrence, greater economic security and deeper global alliances.

The speech also outlined the Foreign Secretary’s vision for a new era of peace, security and prosperity and argued that the free world needs to keep the pressure on the Putin regime.

In her keynote speech, the Foreign Secretary said: “Faced with appalling barbarism and war crimes, which we’d hoped had been consigned to history, the free world has united behind Ukraine in its brave fight for freedom and self-determination.

“Those who think they can win through oppression, coercion or invasion are being proved wrong by this new stand on global security – one that not only seeks to deter, but also ensures that aggressors fail. We cannot be complacent – the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance.

“But let us be clear, if Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe. We would never feel safe again.

“So we must be prepared for the long haul. We’ve got to double down on our support for Ukraine. And we must also follow through on the unity shown in the crisis. We must reboot, recast and remodel our approach.

“My vision is a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant. Where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships. Where aggressors are contained and forced to take a better path. This is the long term prize: a new era of peace, security of prosperity.”

Truss said that we need to learn the lessons of Ukraine and call for a new approach – one that “melds hard security and economic security, one that builds stronger global alliances and one that recognises we’re seeing the return of geopolitics.”

She called for action in three areas: Stronger defence – based on collectively investing more in defence, correcting a “generation of underinvestment, with 2% of GDP a floor, not a ceiling”, advocating for maintaining NATO’s open door policy (including for Sweden and Finland), and for NATO to adopt a more “global” outlook where it steps up work with Pacific partners.

Other areas, according to her, include boosting economic security – reducing economic dependency on aggressors and creating stronger trade, investment, science and tech ties among allies and partners; building a stronger network of alliances – with the G7 playing a stronger role, as it has done during the Ukraine crisis, and building a deeper, more inter twined network of bilateral security and economic partnerships.

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