British Foreign Minister James Cleverly will on Tuesday declare that Britain has the “strategic endurance” to see Ukraine “through to victory” over Russia.
In a speech to his Conservative Party’s annual conference, Cleverly will say Ukraine has Britain’s unwavering support in its efforts to push back Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces.
It comes after Britain ramped up sanctions against Moscow, with new measures targeting vulnerable sectors of the economy, in response to the Russian president’s “illegal” annexation of swathes of Ukrainian territory.
Cleverly will repeat Prime Minister Liz Truss’s vow that Britain will never accept Putin’s claim to the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, or Crimea.
According to extracts from his speech given in advance, Cleverly is expected to tell the conference in Birmingham, central England: “We aren’t commentators. We are players on the pitch. Making a difference. Promoting our values. Competing on the world stage for what we believe is right.
“We believe in freedom. We believe in the rule of law. We believe that an aggressor cannot invade its neighbour with impunity.
“This is why we stand shoulder to shoulder with those brave Ukrainians defending their homeland. And Britain has the strategic endurance to see them through to victory.”
He will say Ukrainians have defended their homeland “ferociously” and that their bravery has been “amplified” by arms and training supplied by the UK.
“We will support them until this war is won. We will support them until their sovereignty is restored.
“We will never recognise the annexation of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, or Crimea.
“They are Ukraine. And when Ukraine has won this war then we will support them as they rebuild their homes, their economy, and their society.”
The latest annexations by Russia, currently under pressure after a series of Ukrainian successes on the battlefield, have prompted condemnation globally and have been rejected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Putin recently threatened to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect his country, seen as a sign that he could use tactical nuclear weapons in response to attacks on parts of Ukraine he has annexed.
In another sign of escalation, the Russian president last month announced a partial military mobilisation.