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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Poland and UK support for Ukraine: Foreign Secretary's statement to Warsaw press conference

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss gave a press conference statement, during her visit to Poland, about UK and Polish support for Ukraine amid Putin's appalling war.

5 April 2022

Thank you very much Minister Rau for hosting me at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We have had a very productive discussion today as always because we are close allies and we are friends. And thank you personally for your tremendous support for Ukraine.

At this time of shattered European security amid Putin's appalling war, we're very, very grateful for what Poland has done.

You have been at the front line of helping Ukraine, including supporting those who have fled this appalling war. You have stood steadfastly by the Ukrainian people and you've urged tougher action against Putin at every opportunity.

Poland has always been clear eyed about Russia. You have understood Putin's malign intent. You were right.

Together with the United Kingdom, Poland has supported Ukraine with weapons and humanitarian aid and stepped up work with others across Europe.

And at the same time, you - Minister Rau - have chaired the OSCE, which has shone a vital spotlight on the atrocities committed across Ukraine by Russian forces.

We agree that the only way for this war to end is for Putin to lose in Ukraine and I know we are both dedicated to that goal.

That is why we have agreed to step up our sanctions and our weapons to help Ukraine defend itself.

We know that this is urgent. Although Russian troops have been defeated in their initial assault on Kyiv, there has been no change in their intent and their ambition.

We are seeing Putin's forces set their sights on the East and South of Ukraine, with the same reckless disregard for civilian lives and nationhood.

So far our sanctions have had a crippling impact on those who feed and fund Putin's war machine.

This week we will announce that we have frozen over $350 billion of Putin's war chest, making over 60% of the regime's $604 billion foreign currency reserves unavailable.

Our coordinated sanctions are pushing the Russian economy back into the Soviet era.

But we can and must step do more, as I told our mutual friend the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba yesterday.

On Thursday, I will be urging our NATO and G7 partners to go further in sanctions by joining us in:

We have all been shocked by the scenes from Bucha. These are appalling acts of the kind that we thought we left in the 20th century. We will hold those responsible to account for what they've done, in particular the reports of rape and sexual assault. I want the OSCE to investigate so that the full reality is brought to light. And I know Poland is conducting its own investigations.

The UK led 40 nations in referring these atrocities to the International Criminal Court.

And we're providing additional funding as well as technical assistance for their investigation. The Metropolitan Police war crimes unit is investigating these heinous crimes.

And we have launched a £10 million civil society fund to support organisations in Ukraine, including those helping victims of conflict-related sexual violence.

The UK will hold a global conference later this year on stopping sexual violence in conflict. We are also leading a campaign to make sexual violence an international red line in war, on a par in abhorrence with the use of chemical weapons.

The UK and Poland are close allies with Ukraine and through our trilateral agreement we are deepening our cooperation in areas like cyber security, combatting disinformation and making our energy supplies resilient.

As Minister Rau mentioned, we are putting more UK forces into Poland as well as more broadly across the eastern flank. Because we do need to strengthen NATO's Eastern flank and that's what we will be talking about at the NATO Foreign ministers meeting later this week.

We are also committed to strengthening the partnership directly between our 3 nations, including on helping Ukrainian reconstruction after this appalling war has ended.

Together, working with our friends and allies, we will ensure Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored.

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