UK FM: Russia sanctions should end only after withdrawal
The UK's Foreign Secretary says sanctions on Russia should only be removed if Russia withdraws from Ukraine and commits to "no further aggression."
Sanctions imposed by the West on Russia should only be removed following a "full ceasefire and withdrawal", UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said today.
The Foreign Secretary told the Sunday Telegraph that the West had to remain tough "to get peace", and that Moscow would also have to commit to "no further aggression" to avoid them being reimposed.
Over 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses have so far been sanctioned by the US, UK and the EU.
Truss claims that Russia is not serious about negotiations at present, but said that a negotiations unit has been set up to assist Ukraine once Moscow 'changes its attitude' regarding talks.
"That's why... we need to double down on sanctions," she said.
Russia's armed forces announced yesterday the completion of the "first stage" of their mission in Ukraine, according to a statement made by a top Russian military commander.
Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian military’s Main Operational Directorate, told reporters during a briefing that Russia has reached its objective for the first portion of its military operation in Ukraine, and said that the armed forces will now devote its full attention to Donbass, adding that the Ukrainian armed forces' combat potential "has been significantly reduced."
Rudskoy said Ukraine's forces have been preparing a "well-fortified defense zone" in the breakaway region of Donbass over a period of eight years, adding that Russian troops are currently focusing on key train stations to cut off military supplies to Ukrainian forces.