Liz Truss set to visit Vladimir Putin in Russia 'for talks'
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The UK is preparing for a dramatic showdown in Moscow as Boris Johnson and Liz Truss lead the way in tackling Russian aggression against Ukraine. Both Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and defence secretary Ben Wallace are set to travel to Moscow soon, by early February, for talks with their Russian counterparts, according to Channel 4 News. While Britain gets tough with Russia, many have accused the EU and Germany of “deafening silence” on the crisis.
Channel 4 News correspondent Paraic O’Brien said: “Here in Kyiv, these claims and allegations of possible coups in the past 12 months underscore their idea that the West needs to get more tough with Russia.
“The diplomatic path remains open – just. Talks between the US secretary of state Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov failed to produce a breakthrough.
“But, there are reports that foreign secretary Liz Truss and defence secretary Ben Wallace are both travelling for talks in Moscow soon.”
The planned showdown between the UK and Russia comes amid elevated tensions between the Kremlin and the West over Ukraine.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ramped up the Whitehall response to the crisis and even offered to directly engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Britain has already started supplying Ukraine, which is not a member of the NATO alliance, with anti-tank weapons to help it defend itself from a potential invasion.
Earlier today, the UK accused President Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow ‘puppet government’ to lead Ukraine.
In response, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed Britain was “circulating disinformation” and urged it to “stop spreading nonsense”.
Yevhen Murayev, a former MP in Ukraine who was named as the potential ‘puppet’ leader, told Channel 4 News that he plans to sue the British Foreign Office and Ms Truss.
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Mr Murayev, who was named in the overnight briefing from the UK Government, has denied any such plan exists.
He said: “I think someone has set up the British Foreign Office. Someone who is not fully across the situation planted these papers.
“But in any case, I will either wait for a denial or I will go to court to show just what the British Foreign Office is up to – repeating such fake allegations.”
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While the US, UK and other NATO allies have offered support to Ukraine, Germany has so far declined.
Germany insists it will not supply Ukraine with lethal weapons, arguing that it doesn’t want to inflame tensions further.
Estonia was blocked from providing military support to Ukraine after Germany refuses to issue permits for German-origin weapons to be exported.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Germany’s stance was “undermining unity” and “encouraging Vladimir Putin” amid fears of a Russian invasion.
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