37 countries say Russia and Belarus ‘should not be allowed to host’ international sporting events

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would travel to Washington, DC on Tuesday to meet her American counterpart, Antony Blinken.

The UK will “continue” to “debilitate” the Russian economy alongside its allies, Truss said during a briefing on Tuesday ahead of the visit to the United States.

“What we are working on (…) with our allies is to weaken the Russian economy, to stop the financing that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin uses for his war machine. We have sanctions in place on the Russian central bank, on the SWIFT system, we have frozen bank assets and in fact the UK freezes more bank assets than any other country, we have frozen a total of 364 billion of dollars ($478 billion) asset value. We have also closed British airspace to Russian aircraft and our ports to Russian ships,” Truss said.

Now is not the time to let go. We must continue to push forward our support for Ukraine and our weakening of the Russian economy,” Truss said.

“Oil and gas (are) important and we are working with the G7 in terms of creating a timetable for a reduction in dependence on Russian oil and gas and we need to go further on the banks, we need to completely eliminate access to the SWIFT system, we need to freeze more bank assets,” Truss added.

“It is important that we remain strong and united with our allies and it is important that we ensure that Putin loses in Ukraine. The consequences of not losing it are just too horrific to contemplate,” she warned.

Truss said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine had “shattered European security” and the UK and its allies were now “in a battle for information with Russia”. The Foreign Secretary said that as a result the UK had re-established an information unit which had been abandoned after the end of the Cold War.

As well as weakening the Russian economy, Truss said the UK’s strategy was also to provide defensive weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as diplomatically isolate Russia.

“What we are working to do with our G7 allies is to encourage more of these countries to provide defensive weapons to support Ukraine and to encourage more of these countries to join us in sanctioning Russia. And it is significant that countries like Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore have all joined this effort,” she said.

“I am going to America to convey this program and I think it is important to note that global security is indivisible, what is good for the Euro-Atlantic is good for the Indo-Pacific, and a strong NATO will help deter aggressors everywhere. And that is why we must step up our efforts to strengthen European security with our allies in Europe, including the EU and our NATO allies, but also with the United States and allies like Japan,” Truss said.

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