UK foreign secretary skips Ukraine trip after positive COVID test

1 February 2022, 12:02 PM

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will not now visit Ukraine on Feb. 1 after testing positive for COVID-19 the previous evening and going into self-isolation.

Truss was due to travel to Ukraine with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a show of support for the country amid the looming threat of further Russian invasion.

“Thankfully I’ve had my three jabs and will be working from home while I isolate,” Truss tweeted on Jan. 31.

PM Johnson is still expected to visit without the foreign secretary, and his agenda will include a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the on-going Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border.

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Russia has deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.

Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the declared zone of the exercise area.

According to UK military intelligence data, Russia has drafted a plan for “a lightning attack” on Ukraine. At the same time, Head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said that a full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine would require over one million Russian troops.

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