Liz Truss, the UK foreign secretary, has warned Russia that any invasion of Ukraine would only lead to “a terrible quagmire and loss of life” on the scale of the Soviet-Afghan war, Theguardian.com writes.
Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, Truss framed the Ukraine conflict as part of a wider dispute between what she saw as liberal states and autocracies, including Russia and China.
She urged Vladimir Putin to “desist and step back from Ukraine before he makes a massive strategic mistake”. The Kremlin, she said, “has not learned the lessons of history” and an “invasion will only lead to a terrible quagmire and loss of life, as we know from the Soviet-Afghan war and conflict in Chechnya.”
Truss added: “We need everyone to step up. Together with our allies, we will continue to stand with Ukraine and urge Russia to de-escalate and engage in meaningful discussions. What happens in eastern Europe matters for the world.”
Truss claimed autocracies were “emboldened in a way we haven’t seen since the cold war. They seek to export dictatorship as a service around the world. That is why regimes like Belarus, North Korea and Myanmar find their closest allies in Moscow and Beijing.”
Her comments came hours before the top diplomats of Russia and the United States were to meet in Switzerland to discuss soaring tensions over Ukraine after a flurry of meetings between officials on both sides in the last week produced no breakthroughs.