‘Russian invasion failed’: Liz Truss and European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen mock ‘weak’ Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s troop mobilization… but sidestep Brexit feud
- Prime Minister Liz Truss and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen mock ‘weak’ Vladimir Putin
- Couple meet for talks on war in Ukraine at UN General Assembly in New York
- They appear to evade another Brexit bust-up despite ongoing protocol squabble
Liz Truss and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen mocked the ‘weak’ Vladimir Putin as they spoke in New York today.
The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission met at the UN General Assembly to discuss the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
In a joint statement after their meeting, the pair said Mr Putin’s order for a partial mobilization to bolster his forces in Ukraine was “a statement of weakness.”
They added that the Russian president’s move was “a sign that the Russian invasion failed.”
And while Ms Truss and Ms von der Leyen underlined their “joint commitment” to continue supporting Ukraine, they seemed to sidestep the rumbling Brexit tensions between Britain and the EU.
The bilateral meeting in New York was the first since Ms. Truss replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister.
It came just hours after Mr Putin used a Russian TV address to announce the mobilization of reservists in a dramatic escalation of the war in Ukraine.
Liz Truss and Ursula von der Leyen met at the UN General Assembly to discuss Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine
The bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission in New York was the first since Ms Truss took the place of Boris Johnson
In the joint statement, Ms Truss and Ms von der Leyen are said to have “firmly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and agreed that Putin’s recent calls to mobilize sections of the population were a sign that the Russian invasion is failing”.
“It’s a weakness,” the statement added.
“They recognized the courage and courage of the Ukrainian people and underlined their joint commitment to support Ukraine in its struggle for as long as necessary.”
The Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission also held talks on EU-UK relations on energy, food security and the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The decision to issue a joint statement after the meeting – rather than having both sides publish their own reports of the talks – likely reflects the desire of Ms Truss and Ms von der Leyen’s teams for a united stance on Russia. to keep.
It also suggests that they decided to sidestep another failure over Brexit.
Both the UK and the EU are still at odds over the Northern Ireland Protocol, with Brussels recently taking new legal action as part of the dispute.
It followed Ms. Truss’ efforts to unilaterally ignore important parts of the protocol through new laws at Westminster.
But since she became Prime Minister, Ms Truss has taken a more conciliatory tone towards Brussels.
She recently reiterated her preference for a negotiated settlement with the EU for the Protocol Row, rather than taking unilateral action.
Last week, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic claimed that border controls on goods transported from Britain to Northern Ireland – a key part of the Protocol dispute – could be reduced to a ‘few trucks a day’.
Downing Street has not publicly commented on Mr Sefcovic’s comments due to the period of national mourning following the Queen’s death.
At the beginning of today’s meeting, Mrs. Truss said to Mrs. von der Leyen, ‘It is very nice to see you.’
The President of the European Commission nodded and smiled in response.