Liz Truss has vowed to ensure the “flame of freedom in Ukraine continues to burn bright” if she becomes the UK’s next prime minister.
Ms Truss, writing in The Daily Telegraph to mark Ukraine’s independence day on Wednesday, said the government under her will ensure Vladimir Putin is unable to “prevail”.
“Under my leadership, President Zelensky will have no greater ally at this dark hour than the UK,” stressed Ms Truss.
No 10 was adorned in sunflowers and blue florets, that represent Ukraine’s national flower and its flag respectively, to show solidarity as the country faces the irony of observing its independence day on the same day as the six-month anniversary of Russia’s 24 February invasion.
“We are already at the vanguard of international support in providing £2.3 billion in military aid, more than any other nation in Europe,” wrote the Tory leadership contest favourite.
“We rallied our G7 partners in targeting Russia with the toughest sanctions ever on a major economy.”
In her editorial, Ms Truss also denounced Russia and called out the leader of the country for “barbarism” in Ukraine.
She promised that she will “go further as prime minister” by declassifying more intelligence to expose Russian misinformation while also repeating a promise to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of the gross domestic product by 2030.
“My government will use intelligence strategically to reveal the Kremlin’s attempts to undermine and destabilise freedom-loving democracies. Where there are lies, they will be exposed, where there is barbarism, we will call it out,” she said.
“I will take the same tough approach to counter malign activity from potentially hostile states and others who threaten global security.”
The race to No 10 between foreign secretary and former chancellor Rishi Sunak is heating up as the last leg of their campaigns concludes before the announcement of the winner on 5 September after a run-off vote among Tory party members.
The cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy bills have dominated the debate over who will succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, as both candidates clashed at the latest Tory leadership hustings in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.
Ms Truss said on Tuesday that she wanted to divert £13bn from the NHS into social care to allow payments for elderly people’s care.
“This whole language of ‘unfunded’ tax cuts implies the static model, the so-called abacus economics that the Treasury orthodoxy has promoted for years, but it hasn’t worked in our economy because what we have ended up with is high tax, high spending and low growth,” she said.
“That is not a sustainable model for Britain’s future.”