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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has urged Russia to enter talks in January over its military build-up on the border of Ukraine.
Ms Truss’s call for dialogue comes after Russian troops have reportedly been massing along the border with Ukraine over the last few months, with the Foreign Secretary also warning that any “incursion” would be a “massive mistake”.
The Foreign Secretary said: “I condemn the Kremlin’s aggressive and inflammatory rhetoric against Ukraine and Nato.
“Nato is a defensive alliance and Ukraine continues to show commendable restraint in the face of Russian provocation and aggression.”
She added: “Russia’s military build-ups on the border of Ukraine and in illegally-annexed Crimea are unacceptable.
“Any Russian incursion would be a massive strategic mistake and would be met with strength, including coordinated sanctions with our allies to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy.
“The UK’s support for Ukraine is unwavering.”
Ms Truss also called on Moscow to de-escalate the threat of conflict.
She said: “The only way out of the current situation for Russia is through dialogue and I welcome the fact that Russia has signalled it is willing to enter talks in January.
“The Russian Government needs to de-escalate its activities and engage in serious discussions.”
Ms Truss’s statement comes after Russia has urged the west not to allow Ukraine to become a member of Nato.
Speaking during a marathon annual news conference, President Vladimir Putin welcomed talks with the US, which are set to start in Geneva next month, but warned that Moscow’s demands needed to be met quickly.