24 February 2022

Liz Truss berates Russian ambassador and ‘kicks him out of grumpy meeting’

24 February 2022

Moscow’s ambassador to the UK was berated by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who told him the invasion of Ukraine had made Russia an “international pariah” that would suffer vast costs.

Ms Truss was understood to have kicked out Andrei Kelin after he repeated the Kremlin’s propaganda during what was characterised as a “very grumpy meeting” on Tuesday.

The Foreign Office said Ms Truss told Mr Kelin to expect “severe sanctions” against Russia as she accused the country he represents of having “repeatedly lied”.

A source described it as a ‘very grumpy’ meeting (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Kelin had been summoned to Whitehall for a dressing down for the second time in a week after the Kremlin began an assault on Ukraine that is feared will amount to an all-out invasion.

According to a Foreign Office statement, Ms Truss told him that Russia must expect a “long, protracted conflict that would inflict a huge human, economic and political cost on the Russian government”.

“The Foreign Secretary said the Russian government had repeatedly lied about having no plans to invade Ukraine, and its unprovoked aggression had made it an international pariah,” it added.

“She condemned Russia’s outrageous attack on Ukraine as a clear breach of international law.

“She reiterated there would be severe sanctions in retribution for the invasion, which will inflict pain on the Russian economy and those closely associated with the Kremlin.”

A Foreign Office source went further in characterising it as a “very grumpy meeting”.

“Liz kicked him out after he started spouting the Kremlin’s incredulous propaganda lines,” the source said.

“She said the international community will stand by Ukraine and that Russia has made itself an international pariah.”

Ms Truss’s war of words continued at a virtual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

She is understood to have said: “Today, the Russian government has shown that they lied to the world.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox