Analysis: west’s punishment, payment and prevention approach to ending war could leave Putin cornered
Just as Britain has positioned itself as the most munificent provider of weaponry to Ukraine, so it has adopted the most uncompromising of approaches to the terms for a final peace settlement with Russia. Judging by the near existential tone of the foreign secretary Liz Truss’s speech on Wednesday evening, the UK is self-consciously now on the provisional wing of the small group of allies that are privately discussing the terms of how the war might end.
Not all of it is in the public domain, but in her speech Truss made clear that Russia would be required to leave the whole of Ukraine, and so no longer retain its foothold in the Donbas in the east and Crimea, which it annexed in 2014. In this view she gained the support of the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, on Thursday. She also agrees with the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, that Russia must end the war so weakened militarily that it cannot repeat its threats not only to Ukraine but to Moldova and the Balkans.