On his first international trip, Britain’s Truss pledges to support Ukraine


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LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Liz Truss will pledge at a UN summit to meet or exceed the 2.3 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) in military aid spent for Ukraine in 2022 next year, doubling its support for Kyiv after the Russian invasion.

Truss, on his first international visit as prime minister, will call on other leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to help end Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe, saying it has allowed too many lives to be “manipulated”.

His trip to New York, just hours after Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, is the first event in a turbulent return to British politics, put on the back burner during a period of national mourning for the late monarch. Read more

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It marks the start of a busy week for Britain’s new prime minister, when his government is expected to introduce a new business energy support package, a plan to help the National Health Service and much-promised tax cuts.

In New York, where Truss will meet US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, the British leader will again pledge her support for Ukraine, which she says has successfully repelled Russian forces with Western military assistance.

“My message to the people of Ukraine is: the UK will continue to be with you every step of the way. Your security is our security,” she said in a statement ahead of her speech at the summit, which begins on Thursday. .

“Too many lives – in Ukraine, in Europe and around the world – are being manipulated by a reliance on Russian energy,” she added. “We must work together to end this once and for all.”

Britain said it was the second-biggest military donor to Ukraine, committing £2.3bn in 2022, and that support next year would be determined by the needs of Ukraine’s military, although it should include equipment such as rocket artillery systems.

Culture Minister Michelle Donelan told Sky News the purpose of the trip to New York was “not to do a business deal”, although that could be discussed at Biden’s meeting.

Britain saw a trade deal with the United States as one of the biggest prizes of leaving the European Union, but hopes for a quick deal were dashed when the Biden administration made it clear that it was not a priority.

(This story corrects the year to 2022 in the first paragraph)

($1 = 0.8748 pounds)

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Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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