Russian sanctions may be lifted after invading forces withdraw, says Truss

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Sanctions against Russian oligarchs, banks and companies could be lifted if Vladimir Putin ends his invasion of Ukraine and pledges to commit “no further aggression,” Liz Truss said.

The foreign minister said in an interview that the threat of “snapback sanctions” would be maintained if the Russian president attacks again.

Mrs. Truss told the Sunday Telegraph that a “negotiating unit” had been established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support possible peace talks.

With Kremlin troops struggling, her comments will be seen as a possible incentive for Putin to cut his losses and strike a deal with Ukraine.

Moscow has given indications after a month of war that it could scale back its ambitions to fight for control of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned he would not give up territory in peace talks, noting that his troops dealt “forceful blows” to invading forces.

Boris Johnson said Western allies are trying to “steadily step up” sanctions against Putin and those who support his regime.

Ms Truss said: “Those sanctions should come only with a full ceasefire and withdrawal, but also with pledges that there will be no further aggression.

“And there is also the possibility of getting snapback sanctions if there is more aggression in the future. That’s a real lever that I think can be used.”

Her comments match those of her US counterpart Antony Blinken, who has said the travel bans and asset freeze “are not meant to be permanent”.

The secretary of state said the sanctions “could disappear” in the event of an “essentially irreversible” withdrawal of Russian troops.

Additional Press Association coverage

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