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Liz Truss fears peace talks are a ‘smokescreen’ for further Russian aggression

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he Foreign Secretary has warned peace talks between Ukraine and Russia might be being used as a “smokescreen” for the Kremlin to regroup troops for a fresh offensive.

Liz Truss said it was up to president Volodymyr Zelensky how his country approached peace talks.

But in an interview with The Times she said she feared the negotiations – which have been said to have made some progress – were a “smokescreen”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen he had pledged to send more defensive weapons to Ukraine after speaking to Mr Zelensky on Friday.

He said he was “more convinced than ever” Russian president Vladimir Putin’s military venture would fail.

Mr Johnson is due to address the Conservative Spring Forum in Blackpool on Saturday, where he will likely again address the conflict in Ukraine.

Britain’s chief of defence intelligence said Mr Putin was now fighting a “war of attrition”, after initial expectations of a quick conflict were dashed.

Lieutenant General Sir Jim Hockenhull said the Kremlin has been forced to switch tactics, turning to the “reckless and indiscriminate” use of firepower which will inevitably lead to more civilian casualties.

Ms Truss said that if Moscow was serious about peace talks being held with Ukraine, they would not be using such methods.

Foriegn Secretary Liz Truss leave No 10 Downing Street (James Manning/PA) / PA Wire

She told The Times: “If a country is serious about negotiations, it doesn’t indiscriminately bomb civilians that day.”

Ms Truss said she was “very sceptical” about the talks the two countries were holding, and added: “What we’ve seen is an attempt to create space for the Russians to regroup.”

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