Russia should pay ‘for destruction in Ukraine’, says Truss as estimated cost reaches £306b

The Prime Minister will seek to rally world leaders to continue to support Ukraine during an address at the United Nations in New York. She will also argue that Russia may have to pay reparations to help reconstruct Ukraine if it withdraws or is defeated as estimated costs to repair the nation reaches £306,5billion.

In her address, Ms Truss will claim that 2022 was the year of “freedom fighting back” while it “could have been that of an authoritarian state rolling its tanks over the border of a peaceful neighbour and subjugating its people”.

When asked on Tuesday if there was any way back for Vladimir Putin, the former Foreign Secretary insisted that Russia should pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

She said: “Russia needs to leave Ukraine and we need to make sure that there is proper recompense for what has happened in Ukraine — and we need to make sure Russia is never again able to threaten countries on its border.”

Speaking to Channel 5 news, the South West Norfolk MP insisted that Russia had the financial resources to pay for the rebuilding of Ukraine due to its oil and gas reserves.

She said: “I’m proud that the United Kingdom has stepped up to help them with their reconstruction.

“But I would expect that the Russian state, which has vast oil and gas reserves, should be contributing to rebuilding it.”

In her speech Ms Truss is set to argue that nations should “no longer be strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy”.

The comments appear to be a subtle dig at the EU countries such as the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungry and Italy that were heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas until the start of the war in Ukraine earlier this year.

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Such an approach is likely to put her on a collision course with US President Joe Biden ahead of their first bilateral talks this week.

The US President is widely seen as a moderate Democrat but in a break with economic orthodoxy he tweeted that he was “sick and tired” of “trickled down economics” which has never worked.

Trickle down economics is shorthand for the economic approach of the low tax approach of Reaganomics and Thatcherism in the 1980s that low taxes will stimulate economic growth which will then in turn benefit even the poorest in society.

Speaking to the BBC on top of the Empire State Building, Ms Truss insisted that corporation taxes should be reduced to attract foreign investment.

She said: “We do have to take difficult decisions to get our economy right. We have to look at our tax rates.

“So corporation tax needs to be competitive with other countries so that we can attract that investment.”