Russia will be punished if it invades Ukraine. LIZ TRUSS, Foreign Secretary underlines her determination and resolve to challenge Vladimir Putin

Our troops are fighting for freedom and promotion of it around the globe. That is why I am proud of our soldiers, who are doing great work in places like Estonia – where I joined them yesterday – flying the flag for liberty and democracy.

These troops are out there supporting Nato’s collective defence. Estonia, along with its Baltic neighbor Lithuania and Latvia is proving what freedom can do 30 years later after the fall of communism. They have given individuals the ability to achieve success like never before since being liberated from Soviet control.

Tomorrow I will be meeting my NATO allies in Riga. There, we’ll show our resolve to protect the frontiers and freedom. As part of the world’s greatest alliance, we stand united in our deep diplomatic and security ties which represent both the power and ideal of a network of liberty.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited British troops yesterday who are on deployment to Estonia as a part of the enhanced Forward Presence as they operate alongside other NATO troops in Tapa, Estonia

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met British troops who were deployed to Estonia in the enhanced Forward Presence. They operate alongside NATO troops at Tapa (Estonia)

'As part of the world’s greatest alliance, we stand united in our deep diplomatic and security ties which represent both the power and ideal of a network of liberty.' Pictured: Liz Truss in a tank beside the Union Flag during a trip to Estonia

‘As part of the world’s greatest alliance, we stand united in our deep diplomatic and security ties which represent both the power and ideal of a network of liberty.’ Pictured: Liz Truss, in front of the Union Flag while on a trip through Estonia 

'The UK is positioning itself at the heart of a global network of diplomatic and security partnerships, which extends beyond Nato to relationships like our vital Five Eyes intelligence alliance'

“The UK is positioning herself at the center of a global network diplomatic and security partners, which extends beyond NATO to relations like our vital Five Eyes intelligence partnership’ 

Freedom-loving democracies need to come together and work towards this goal, with NATO as a key part. UK has positioned itself to be at the center of an international network of security and diplomatic partnerships that extends beyond Nato into relationships such as our Five Eyes intelligence alliance. We are going further and faster with partners – such as through the newly-agreed AUKUS partnership.

The same spirit guides our collaboration with Canada, which will allow us to extend our reach to Arctic countries.

We are demonstrating together with NATO allies that Russia’s intrusion into Ukraine is a major strategic error. We are ready to employ all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal in order to prevent such an outcome, and to impose high costs if it does occur. While Russia expands its military presence in Ukraine’s borders and weakens Georgian neighbours, we cannot and won’t allow that to continue.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK and Nato 'are making clear that any incursion by Russia into Ukraine would be a huge strategic mistake'

According to the Foreign Secretary, any Russian incursion into Ukraine by NATO or UK would constitute a strategic error.

A map shared with Military Times earlier this month and replicated above shows how Ukrainian intelligence is bracing for a bloody and ferocious invasion that could see swathes of Ukraine captured in an assault which would dwarf the annexation of the Crimea in 2014

The map, which was shared by Military Times this month and reproduced here, shows that Ukrainian intelligence is preparing for an aggressive invasion. This could lead to large swathes in Ukraine being captured. It would be a far more powerful than the 2014 annexation.

Russia has been using its gas dependence to wage a campaign against European allies. Russia must not be excused from the awful migrant crisis created by Belarus. It has an obligation to end the impasse.

We are driven in doing so by a core principle of Nato – that it is a defensive alliance. There are those who would like to use the lies that Nato provokes the Russians as a pretext to escalate the situation. They are falling for the Kremlin’s playbook, which we saw in use when Russia falsely claimed that its illegal annexation of Crimea was a response to Nato aggression.

UK leads the charge in defence of free nations. The UK is the largest European defense spender in NATO, along with Estonia and others who have spent more than 2% of their gross domestic product for defence. We are gaining more support, but every NATO Ally must step up.

We are taking a lead in standing up for stability in the Western Balkans and resisting Russia’s efforts to exploit tensions in the region. We are showing diplomatic leadership, rallying partners around the world – including through our G7 presidency – to challenge Russia’s irresponsible and destabilising behaviour.

This is how we expelled the most Russian diplomats collectively in modern history following the Salisbury attack. We also took decisive action to become the first European nation to impose sanctions against Belarus.

Our interests must be protected now more than ever. No greater concern than the survival of democracy and freedom in the world. Our strength together can be achieved by forging closer bonds to ensure a more free, secure, and prosperous world.