Liz Truss eyes defense review to tackle growing threat from Russia and China as she warns of ‘decisive moment’ in fight for global freedom
- Liz Truss to order defense review to counter growing threat from Russia and China
- PM urges leaders to stand firm against rising authoritarianism
- She will warn West of a ‘decisive moment’ at the UN General Assembly in New York
- Ms Truss also had a ‘constructive’ meeting with Emmanuel Macron in the US yesterday
Liz Truss will today order a new defense review to counter the growing threat posed by Russia and China – as she urges Western leaders to stand firm against rising authoritarianism.
The Prime Minister will use a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York to warn that the West faces a “decisive moment” in the defense of global freedom.
She will confirm that officials were told to reopen Britain’s Integrated Security Review only 18 months after it was published to take account of the heightened threat from China and Russia.
And she will uphold her leadership campaign pledge to increase annual defense spending to 3% of GDP by 2030 – a move which analysts say could cost more than £150billion by the end of the decade.
As a member of NATO, the UK has pledged to spend 2% of its GDP annually on defense and for the current year it is expected to spend 2.1%.
Yesterday Miss Truss also called on Russia to pay a ‘reward’ to Ukraine for its illegal war – including financial reparations.
In tonight’s speech, the Prime Minister will urge world leaders not to falter in their support for Ukrainian forces, which have retaken more than 2,000 square miles of occupied territory in recent weeks.
Liz Truss will use a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York to warn that the West faces a ‘decisive moment’ in the defense of global freedom
“This is a watershed moment in British history, in the history of this organization and in the history of freedom,” she will say. The story of 2022 could have been one of an authoritarian state rolling its tanks over the border of a peaceful neighbor and subjugating its people.
“Instead, it is the story of freedom fighting back. But it doesn’t have to be unique… Britain’s commitment to this is total.
“With our friends and allies around the world, we will continue to stand up for freedom…and democracy. And we will define this new era as an era of hope and progress.
Discussions with world leaders in New York are expected to focus not only on Ukraine, but also on strengthening energy security to prevent historical weaknesses from being exploited by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other tyrants.
A government source said the Prime Minister would pressure the G7 and other Western alliances to form an “economic NATO, collectively defending our prosperity and coming to the aid of any partner targeted by an aggressive regime”.
Yesterday the PM met French President Emmanuel Macron in a ‘constructive’ half-hour meeting
PM says Moscow may have to pay ‘reward’ before being allowed back into international fold
Miss Truss will commit to economic reforms to build the UK’s resilience – and she will urge other leaders to follow suit. “We are reforming our economy to get Britain moving again,” she will say.
“The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to repel authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition. We will no longer be strategically dependent on those who seek to militarize the global economy.
The Prime Minister, who met Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife, First Lady Olena in New York last night, has already pledged to at least match the UK’s £2.3billion economic aid to Ukraine next year, saying Britain would support its fight against Russia ‘to the end’. .
Yesterday she indicated that Moscow may have to pay a ‘reward’ before being allowed back into the international fold. She told Channel Five News: “It’s not just important that Ukraine wins.” It is also important that this never happens again.
And serious damage has been caused throughout Ukraine. I would expect the Russian state, which has vast reserves of oil and gas, to contribute to its reconstruction.
A No 10 source said the Prime Minister also wanted to see Moscow deliver Russian individuals wanted for war crimes to Ukraine.
Liz Truss met Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife, First Lady Olena, in New York last night
PM and Macron agree to move forward after his ‘friend or foe’ jibe
Yesterday, the Prime Minister held conciliation talks with Emmanuel Macron after questioning whether he was a “friend or an enemy”.
Liz Truss has avoided tough issues such as the Channel migrant crisis and the Northern Ireland protocol as she seeks to smooth relations with the French president.
Downing Street said the two leaders had a “constructive” half-hour meeting in New York, where they are both attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Discussions reportedly focused on energy security and the need for a united response to Ukraine.
Prime Minister and Emmanuel Macron agreed to move on after she jibed ‘friend or foe’
Speaking ahead of the meeting, a Whitehall source conceded the PM may have to bury the hatchet with the French president after jokingly asking if he was a ‘friend or foe’ in the presidential race. leadership of the curators.
The source said: “He obviously didn’t like that comment, but he’s a politician – he understands things being said during the heat of a campaign.”
In the end, we have a very strong relationship with France, it will be fine. Speaking afterwards, Mr Macron seemed happy to put the matter in the past, saying: “I now believe in evidence, in results. “There is a will to re-engage, to move forward and to show that we are allies and friends in a complex world.”
The Miss Truss spokesperson confirmed they had not discussed the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland or migrant crossings, which have not diminished. He said the government intended to resolve the protocol issues with the EU, adding: “This is not an issue that we believe can necessarily be resolved by one EU country alone.”