On his first international trip, Britain’s Truss pledges to support Ukraine

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  • UK support for Kyiv next year will match or exceed 2022
  • Truss on his first international trip to New York as a PM
  • US trade talks are not an immediate priority
  • Truss and Biden also have different views on the economy

NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Britain’s Liz Truss will use her first international trip as prime minister to pledge billions of pounds in additional support to Ukraine next year, her office said on Tuesday ahead of the speech of Truss at the United Nations this week. .

As well as addressing the UN on Wednesday, Truss hopes the trip to New York will reinvigorate the so-called special relationship with the United States after ties soured over post-Brexit trade.

Truss will pledge at the UN summit to meet or exceed in 2023 the 2.3 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of military aid spent on Ukraine in 2022, doubling its support for Kyiv after the invasion of Russia. She will also pledge to help end Europe’s dependence on Moscow for energy.

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Truss left just hours after Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, is the first event in a rocky return to British politics, but put on hold during a period of national mourning for the late monarch. Read more

It marks the start of a busy week for Britain’s new prime minister, when his government is expected to introduce a new business energy support package, a plan to help the National Health Service and much-promised tax cuts.

In New York, where Truss will meet Biden on Wednesday, the British leader will again pledge her support for Ukraine, which she says successfully repelled Russian forces with the help of Western military aid.

“We can’t see Russia succeeding, but we also need to make sure we’re more energy independent and less dependent on these authoritarian regimes,” Truss told the BBC in an interview on Tuesday.

“It’s a matter of economic growth, but it’s also a matter of economic security.”

Britain said it was the second-largest military donor to Ukraine, and support next year would be determined by the needs of the Ukrainian military, although it was expected to include equipment such as rocket artillery systems.

David Lammy, foreign policy chief for the main opposition Labour, said Truss needed to “bring the UK back from the cold and start to rebuild our country’s diplomatic influence”.

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

UK-US ties have been tested in recent years, particularly over Brexit and Truss’s introduction of legislation to unilaterally change a post-Brexit trade deal with Northern Ireland.

Truss told reporters accompanying her on the plane to New York that she did not expect trade talks with the United States to begin in the short to medium term.

Britain saw a trade deal with the United States as one of the biggest prizes of leaving the European Union, but hopes for a quick deal were dashed when the Biden administration made it clear that it was not a priority.

She’s also taking a different economic approach to Biden’s, promising tax cuts, including for businesses, and dismissing fears that policies aimed at boosting growth will deepen inequality and hurt her popularity. Read more

That divide became clear on Tuesday when Biden publicly dismissed the idea that tax cuts for the wealthy can benefit everyone, just as Truss touted the virtues of such policies.

“I’m sick of the economic fallout,” he said in a tweet. “It never worked.”

($1 = 0.8748 pounds)

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Additional reporting by Muvija M and William James; Written by Elizabeth Piper and Alistair Smout; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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