Lord Cameron has branded Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “indefensible” ahead of a conference in North Macedonia which Moscow’s foreign minister is expected to attend.
The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK’s support for Kiev at a meeting of foreign ministers in Skopje on Wednesday, a day before the start of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ministerial council ( OSCE).
President Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, said he planned to visit the Balkan country, which would be a rare visit to a NATO member state since the Kremlin launched its attack on large-scale against Ukraine in February last year.
There are apparently no plans for Lord Cameron to meet Mr Lavrov in Skopje.
The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine said they would boycott the conference because of Mr. Lavrov’s participation.
Russia is one of 57 members of the OSCE, an intergovernmental organization created to ease tensions between East and West during the Cold War.
The UK delegation to the OSCE said in a statement: “The Foreign Secretary told a meeting of foreign ministers in Skopje ahead of the OSCE Ministerial Council that the UK would stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary and continue to demonstrate moral, diplomatic, economic and military support.
“He added that Russia was responsible for the conflict and that its actions were indefensible. They had trampled underfoot the ten principles of the Final Act of Helsinki which guided relations between States.
“The Foreign Secretary concluded his speech by saying that Britain had made clear its support for the OSCE. He called on all foreign ministers present to support the organization and secure its future, welcoming Malta’s assumption of the current presidency for 2024.”
Lord Cameron also used his trip to Brussels to urge his NATO counterparts not to waver in their support for Ukraine.
There has been less focus on the war in Eastern Europe as Western allies tackle the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.
But with the truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict continuing, Lord Cameron, who made his first trip to Ukraine after returning to the front line a fortnight ago, said NATO could “never turn a blind eye on Russian aggression.