Truss to match Johnson’s Ukraine spending

Liz Truss will commit to spending billions more supporting and arming Ukraine next year as politics finally returns to normal following the Queen’s funeral.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday in her first trip abroad as prime minister, Truss will promise that next year Britain will match or exceed the £2.3bn it is spending on military aid this year. The UK is already the second largest military donor to Ukraine behind only the US.

Arriving in New York with what the Financial Times described as “a hawkish commitment to stand by Ukraine for the long haul”, The Times said: “The focus of her speech tomorrow, as well as many of her meetings with other world leaders, will be the war in Ukraine.”

Supporting the embattled country was “a key policy plank” of the Boris Johnson government, said the BBC, and Truss has been clear she intends to continue this, despite the dire impact the war is having on energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis.

The Telegraph reported that she will warn world leaders in New York that now is not the time to “take our foot off the gas” as Ukrainian forces make gains, but rather to put an end to Vladimir Putin’s economic blackmailing of Europe by removing all energy dependence on Russia.

Having suspended political activity and government business during the period of national mourning following the Queen’s death, Truss will look to relaunch her premiership on the world stage, meeting  leaders including President Emmanuel Macron of France and US President Joe Biden.

“It will mean the returning political conversation will have a diplomatic air – in its opening few hours at least – rather than an immediately intense domestic scrappiness,” said BBC political editor Chris Mason. “But that will be back before you know it.”

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