TCW Defending Freedom has uncovered extracts from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’s recent speech to the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Committee following her meeting with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, on February 10.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
The spectre of Russian aggression has long hung over Eastern Europe. Today, it menaces our friends here in Ukrainia, and threatens security and stability for us all. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all Ukrainianists, except, of course, those who want to join Russia.
I have learnt a lot during my four months as Foreign Secretary, and it was a pleasant surprise to find out that Ukrainia is part of Europe. I shall certainly be recommending your beautiful beaches to my friends and colleagues when I return to London.
Despite Russia’s claims, its military build-up shows no signs of slowing down. There is no evidence that forces are withdrawing. In my meeting with Minister Lavrov, I left him under no illusions that Russia must step back from the brink, or else! You may have seen photos of me standing in front of the Kremlin evoking the spirit of another ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher. This was taken shortly after I had made it crystal clear to Minister Lavrov that ‘this lady is not for turning’. I must tell you that I could sense the shock and amazement in his eyes.
Our ten-minute meeting covered a range of topics apart from the situation in Ukrainia. I told the minister that Russia should follow the example of the United Kingdom and reduce its extraction of fossil fuel, and I recommended that pedestrian crossings in Moscow should be painted in the colours of the LGTBQ community. Diplomatic niceties require that I do not tell you the Minister’s response.
Russia faces no threat from Nato or Ukrainia. However, in the light of the recent military manoeuvres by Russia we have bolstered our support for fellow Nato countries such as Latvia and other Black Sea states. As I speak, detachments from the Gender and Diversity Battalion of the Queen’s Own Trans Regiment are educating our allies on how to deal with harmful words and hurtful glances. Bullies respond only to strength.
I urge Russia to follow the path of diplomacy. We are ready to talk, but the United Kingdom will never recognise the annexation of the Crimea nor the Russian occupation of Siberia, the Kuril Islands, Schleswig-Holstein, Rostov and Voronezh. It is time for the era of Czarist expansionism to come to an end.
The government of the United Kingdom, along with our Commonwealth cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, has long been a beacon of freedom, and respect for human rights. Russia is at a crossroads. It can choose to go down our path or become a pariah state where innocent people are arrested, where bank accounts are frozen, where states of emergency are randomly imposed, and where its citizens are dumped in internment camps on the whim of a government medic.
So take heart, Ukrainianists. This Foreign Secretary will be thinking of you; farewell, good luck and Da svidа́nja.