The West must double down on support for Ukraine, says UK's Truss

·2-min read
A view shows a destroyed railway station in Mariupol

LONDON (Reuters) - Countries opposed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine must double down on their support for Kyiv, including the supply of heavy weapons, tanks and aeroplanes, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will say on Wednesday.

The biggest assault on a European state since World War Two has so far killed thousands and caused widespread destruction across Ukraine, forcing the West to rethink its approach to how it protects itself and maintains global stability.

Truss, in a speech due to be delivered on Wednesday evening, will warn of the need to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from claiming victory, and to use the war as a catalyst for a new world security order.

"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 and double down on our support for Ukraine," she will say according to advance extracts of her speech.

"Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this."

So far Britain, European Union states, the United States and other allies have supplied weaponry to help Ukrainian forces fight the Russian army, but they have stopped short of engaging in direct conflict with Moscow.

While Ukraine has urged the West to provide more support, Russia accuses NATO of creating a serious risk of nuclear war by arming Ukraine in a proxy battle.

Moscow says it launched a "special military operation" on Feb. 24 because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia, and to protect Russian-speaking people there. Kyiv and its allies say these are pretexts for an unprovoked land grab.

Truss will outline a new approach in which countries should spend more on defence, NATO should take a more global outlook and economic dependency on aggressor nations should be reduced.

"Let's be honest. The architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine," she will say.

"We need a new approach... one that melds hard security and economic security..., one that builds stronger global alliances and where free nations are more assertive and self-confident."

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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