Liz Truss says Europe could be ‘on the brink of war’
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned that “we could be on the brink of war in Europe”.
Asked if she was worried about the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ms Truss told Sky News: “I am very worried about the situation.
“We could be on the brink of war in Europe, which would have serious consequences not only for the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, but also for the wider security of Europe.
“There is still time for Vladimir Putin to step back from the abyss. But he has little time left to do so.”
“It is always the case that an invasion could be imminent and it is very likely. What we are doing is going the route of deterrence and diplomacy,” she continued.
Truss said the UK wanted the more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border moved, but admitted “we are preparing for the worst”.
However, Ms Truss noted that Putin could still “change his mind”.
She added: “We know or believe that Vladimir Putin has not yet made a decision about invading Ukraine. We think it’s very likely.
“There are a large number of soldiers lined up on the border. We know they are in a position to attack imminently, but he can still change his mind and that is why diplomacy is so vital.”
She fears it won’t stop in Ukraine and that other aggressors around the world may see it as an opportunity to broaden their ambitions.
Ms Truss said the UK retained a presence in Kyiv but had moved staff to the west of the country.
She added that the Ukrainian capital is a target for the Kremlin.
Asked how quickly the Russians could move towards the Ukrainian capital if they decided to invade, Ms Truss told Sky News:
“Very, very quickly. They have troops stationed around Ukraine. So there could be an attack on Kiev. There could be an attack from the east.
“What we also suspect is that there could be a false flag operation. There could be false allegations that they were provoked to give a pretext for the Russian invasion.
“What we did was we called the Russians, we denounced their attempts to set up a puppet government in Kyiv, we denounced their attempts to create a pretext.
“What we expect over the next few days is that there could be an attempted false flag operation to create a pretext to claim that the Ukrainians are attacking them, so that the Russians have a justification for invade Ukraine.”
Zuma Press/PA Pictures)