Foreign Secretary: English teams should boycott UEFA match
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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has made it clear she expects any English team that makes it to the Champions League final in St Petersburg to boycott the match. Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC Ms Truss argued that an English team should strongly consider boycotting the game over the Kremlin’s aggression towards Russia’s neighbour Ukraine.
Mr Ferrari asked the Foreign Secretary: “Should the football match go ahead in Petersburg, the UAE for final?
“No,” replied Ms Truss.
“Simple as that, if an England team were to get through, should they boycott it,” pressed the LBC host.
“If I was on the England team, I would boycott it,’ responded Ms Truss.
“On an English team,” she quickly corrected herself.
Ms Truss continued: “Let’s be honest, I would personally not want to be playing in a football match in St Petersburg given what the Putin regime is doing.”
Asked if she would urge the manager to consider a boycott where an England team to get the to final, Ms Truss replied that she would.
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Britain will make it “as painful as possible” for Russia if President Vladimir Putin unleashes an all-out attack on Ukraine, the Foreign Secretary said on Wednesday.
Ms Truss said the Russian leader appeared to be “hell-bent” on invading his neighbour, including potentially an assault on the capital, Kiev.
She said the Government had further measures “in the locker” which it could activate after an initial wave of new sanctions announced on Tuesday was widely criticised as being too weak.
Ms Truss said it was still unclear whether Russian troops had crossed into the territories, after Mr Putin said he was authorising the despatch of “peacekeepers” to the area.
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“That is frankly ambiguous at this stage,” she told Sky News. “We’ve heard from Putin himself that he is sending in troops. We don’t yet have the full evidence that that has taken place.”
She said however that Britain and other Western allies were determined to make it as difficult as possible for Russia if an attack does take place – including through the supply of defensive weaponry to Ukraine.
“I believe that Putin is hell-bent on invading Ukraine,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“This is about inflicting pain on Putin and degrading the Russian economic system over time, targeting people that are close to Putin.What we have to do is make it as painful as possible, both by supplying support to the Ukrainian government in terms of defensive weapons, in terms of economic support, and by imposing economic costs.”
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