Britain wants to arm Moldova “according to NATO standards” to protect itself against Russia

Secretary of State Liz Truss says ‘vulnerable states’ near Russia need more defenses (Image: AP/REX)

Liz Truss has announced that she intends to send arms to Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova to defend against a possible Russian attack.

The foreign minister wants the country to be “equipped according to NATO standards” and is discussing this with allies.

Truss said she wants to make sure Ukraine has “an ongoing ability to defend itself” and that the same goes for other “vulnerable states” like Moldova, which is not a member of NATO.

She said this is important because Vladimir Putin “has made clear his ambitions to create a bigger Russia.”

“What we are working on at the moment is a joint commission with Ukraine and Poland to bring Ukraine’s defenses up to NATO standards,” Truss told the Telegraph.

“So we will explore what the Ukrainians need looks like. The question then is how do you maintain that over time?

“How do we ensure that deterrence by denial takes place, that Ukraine can permanently defend itself and how do we guarantee that? We are working on that at the moment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via teleconference on Friday, May 20, 2022 at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Vladimir Putin’s failure in Kyiv does not mean he has given up on his goal of a ‘bigger Russia’, Truss warns (Image: AP)

“And the same goes for other vulnerable states like Moldova. Again, since the threat is from Russia, we also need to make sure they are equipped to NATO standards.”

When asked if she would like Moldova to be supplied with Western weapons and intelligence services, Ms. Truss said: “I want Moldova to be equipped to NATO standards. This is a discussion we are having with our allies.’

She said just because Putin’s attempts to take Kyiv were unsuccessful doesn’t mean he has given up on his ambitions to seize territory in Eastern Europe.

An adviser told the Telegraph that the “NATO standard” would include members of the alliance supplying modern equipment to replace Soviet-era equipment.

Moldovan troops would also be trained to use the new weapons.

It comes as the prime minister spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the global response to the conflict in Ukraine.

epa09960356 A woman holds a child at the Patria-Lukoil Center refugee camp in Chisinau, Moldova, May 20, 2022. According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR on May 19, over 6.4 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian troops entered the Ukraine invaded the country on February 24, 2022. EPA/DUMITRU DORU

Refugees gather at a camp in Chisinau, Moldova – more than 6.4 million people have fled Ukraine since Putin invaded on February 24 (Image: EPA)

Boris Johnson stressed that Finland and Sweden are valuable additions to NATO, No.10 said.

Mr Erdogan said he was opposed to their joining the military alliance and accused the couple of not taking a “clear stance” on groups his country sees as terrorists.

A Downing Street spokesman said Johnson encouraged the Turkish president to work with his Swedish, Finnish and NATO counterparts to address any concerns ahead of the alliance’s Madrid summit in June.

The leaders shared their “deep concerns” about the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and its “far-reaching implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region and the wider world,” No. 10 said.

The spokesman added: “The prime minister hailed Turkey’s leading role in dealing with the crisis and they agreed to work together to open up key supply routes for Ukrainian grain supplies and mitigate soaring food prices around the world.

“The Prime Minister and President Erdogan looked forward to meeting in person as soon as possible.”

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Justin Scacco

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