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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss demands Russia 'halts its aggression' and 'engage in meaningful talks'

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss demands Russia 'halts its aggression' and 'engage in meaningful talks'

The Foreign Secretary has c’alled for Russia to ‘halt its aggression’ amid fears Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine.

Liz Truss tweeted: ‘Russia is waging a disinformation campaign intended to destabilise and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbour Ukraine.

‘Russia must halt its aggression, de-escalate and engage in meaningful talks.’

Her comments came as Russia pressed ahead with military exercises despite denying US claims that Vladimir Putin is planning a ‘false flag’ operation as a pretext to invade its neighbour.

New pictures showed ambush and live firing tank exercises, the latest of a frenzy of drills since the New Year in the country’s western military district.

New pictures from Russia today showed ambush and live firing tank exercises, the latest of a frenzy of drills since the New Year in the country’s western military district

Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured on Tuesday) has called for Russia to 'halt its aggression' amid fears Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured on Tuesday) has called for Russia to ‘halt its aggression’ amid fears Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine

Liz Truss tweeted: 'Russia is waging a disinformation campaign intended to destabilise and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbour Ukraine. 'Russia must halt its aggression, de-escalate and engage in meaningful talks'

Liz Truss tweeted: ‘Russia is waging a disinformation campaign intended to destabilise and justify an invasion of its sovereign neighbour Ukraine. ‘Russia must halt its aggression, de-escalate and engage in meaningful talks’

Her comments came as Russia pressed ahead with military exercises despite denying US claims that Vladimir Putin (pictured on Monday) is planning a 'false flag' operation as a pretext to invade its neighbour

Her comments came as Russia pressed ahead with military exercises despite denying US claims that Vladimir Putin (pictured on Monday) is planning a ‘false flag’ operation as a pretext to invade its neighbour

British MP Tobias Ellwood, Tory chairman of the Commons defence committee, has said a Russian invasion of Ukraine is now ‘inevitable’.

The US claimed it had intelligence that Russia was preparing for a ‘false flag’ operation to make it appear that Ukraine had attacked its troops.

Russia ‘has already pre-positioned a group of operatives’ to stage such an operation in eastern Ukraine, it was claimed.

‘The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.’

This brought an angry riposte from the Russian authorities.

‘Representatives of the administration are already describing in detail the scenarios of such provocations, naming the dates of the eventual start of ‘operations’, said the Russian embassy in Washington. ‘As usual, there is no evidence.’

A spokesman said: ‘Such statements confirm the incessant information pressure on our country. Moreover, the same scenario is repeated – there is a ‘stuffing’ of a sensation, which then, repeated many times by the media, turns into the main news.’

Russia insisted that ‘the continuous accusations against us in the United States… are unfounded and cannot have any confirmation’. 

The US claimed it had intelligence that Russia was preparing for a 'false flag' operation to make it appear that Ukraine had attacked its troops, as a pretext to invade

The US claimed it had intelligence that Russia was preparing for a ‘false flag’ operation to make it appear that Ukraine had attacked its troops, as a pretext to invade

52965249 10405911 image a 54 1642260246907 | Foreign Secretary Liz Truss demands Russia 'halts its aggression' and 'engage in meaningful talks' | The Paradise News

Russia insisted that ‘the continuous accusations against us in the United States… are unfounded and cannot have any confirmation’. Pictured: A Russian tank takes part in a drill 

But Moscow is insisting that a solution must be based on ‘security guarantees’ proposed by Russia.

These involve a vow that Ukraine will never join NATO and a Western refusal to deploy strike weapons across a swathe of eastern Europe.

Yet the tank drills at Mulino in Nizhny Novgorod region are only the latest of a programme of regular war games at a time when Putin is reported to have 100,000-plus troops and heavy military equipment close to the Russian border with Ukraine.

More than 300 servicemen were involved in the special tactical exercises.

Elsewhere in Voronezh region, which borders Ukraine, crews of T-72B3 tanks were drilled in ‘the skills of night driving combat vehicles in heavy snowfall and a blizzard at the Krinitsa training ground’.

Mr Ellwood warned: ‘I am afraid an invasion by Russian forces is inevitable and imminent and we have allowed this to happen.

‘We had the opportunity to place sufficient military hardware and personnel in Ukraine to make President Putin think twice about invading but we failed to do so.

‘Only President Putin knows what he is going to do next but next week would seem pivotal. He has negotiated himself into a corner and after NATO refused to bow to his threats seemingly only one option remains.’   

Pictured: A member of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit is trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Pictured: A member of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit is trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Following a visit to Scandinavia, Britain’s defence secretary said an invasion by Russia into Ukraine would violate the ‘most basic freedoms and sovereignty.’

Issuing a second warning in a week to Moscow, Ben Wallace said there would be ‘consequences’ of any Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

On Monday, he fired a shot across the bows, telling an event in London that Britain would ‘stand up to bullies’, no matter how far away the conflict.

Wallace met Nordic partners this week, including Finland which shares a border with Russia.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said he met with ministers in Sweden, Finland and Norway to discuss Russia’s continued aggression and military build-up on Ukraine’s border, with some 100,000 troops amassed at the divide.

The Defence Secretary said: ‘The UK and our Nordic partners are united in our approach to upholding European security.

Issuing a second warning in a week to Moscow, Ben Wallace said there would be 'consequences' of any Russian aggression towards Ukraine

Issuing a second warning in a week to Moscow, Ben Wallace said there would be ‘consequences’ of any Russian aggression towards Ukraine

Along with the troops already along the border, more Russian aircraft have been flown to the region in recent days and satellite photos have confirmed the positioning of makeshift military hospitals

Along with the troops already along the border, more Russian aircraft have been flown to the region in recent days and satellite photos have confirmed the positioning of makeshift military hospitals 

‘My discussions this week have been directly about deepening bilateral relations, shared security and the consequences of Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

‘Our discussions were clear that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a strategic mistake, violating the most basic freedoms and sovereignty.

‘Britain and the Nordic countries have a long and shared history.

‘Our European neighbours and allies remain vital partners as we work together to defend our common values, counter shared threats and build resilience in our neighbourhood, the UK will always stand with them.’

Labour said the threats facing Ukraine must be met with ‘strength and solve’ by Nato and Europe, with shadow defence secretary John Healey having visited the country this week.

‘The Western allies must work hard to maintain their deterrent pressure on Russia and stand by Ukraine,’ said the senior opposition MP.    

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