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Britain's Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss Britain's Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss  (AFP or licensors)

Britain warns Russia of "Severe consequences" if it invades Ukraine

Britain's Foreign Secretary warns Russia it will face "severe economic consequences" if the country invades Ukraine. Liz Truss commented ahead of the Group of Seven wealthiest economies' foreign ministers' meeting, focusing on the military tensions.

By Stefan J. Bos

Foreign Secretary Truss clarified that the Group of Seven (G7) is gathering amid fears about the reported almost 100,000 Russian troops massing near Ukraine's borders.

She says the G7 foreign ministers gathering in Liverpool, England, will look into ways to deter Russia from invading Ukraine. "I have been very clear that it would be a strategic mistake for Russia to do that," she stressed.

"And what the G7 meeting this weekend that is taking place is about a show of unity between like-minded major economies. That we are going to absolutely be strong in our stance against aggression. Against aggression with respect to Ukraine. There will be severe consequences if anything were to happen," Truss said.

"But also we want to make sure that we are building security and economic partnerships with like-minded partners including Ukraine to protect them in the future," the minister added.        

Her comments came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an interview that he is open to a referendum on the future status of war-torn eastern Ukraine. The vote would also deal with Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, which Russia already annexed in 2014.

REVIVE PEACE PROCESS


Zelenskiy did not detail how and when the referendum could take place.
But he said it was one of the options to revive a stalled peace process in eastern Ukraine and end the dangerous military standoff with neighboring Russia.

More than 14,000 people have died in the nearly eight-year conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatist and Ukrainian government forces.

The fighting underscores the difficulties faced by Ukraine, which shares borders with both the European Union and Russia.

As a former republic of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has a large Russian-speaking community and profound social and cultural ties with Russia.

Moscow has accused Ukraine's government of provocation by seeking closer ties with the West.

It demands guarantees that the U.S.-led NATO military alliance will not expand towards Ukraine and won't place weapons there.

11 December 2021, 16:20