Truss to Carry on Johnson's Ukraine Policy as Clear Favorite in UK Leadership Race, Experts Believe
© Henry NichollsBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and military representative to NATO Ben Bathurst leave NATO Headquarters following a summit on Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday March 24, 2022. (Henry Nicholls/Pool via AP)
© Henry Nicholls
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is widely expected to take over from Boris Johnson as the next British prime minister, continuing his policy of arming Ukraine, experts told Sputnik.
Truss retained a large lead over former finance minister Rishi Sunak in the polls of Conservative Party members as they voted over two months to seed contenders for the top Tory job. The voting closed Friday and the final winner will be announced at 12:30 p.m. BST (11:30 GMT) on Monday.
Alan Cafruny, a professor of international affairs with the Department of Government at Hamilton College in New York, told Sputnik that Truss is very likely to emerge as the winner of what he described as a hard-fought election marked by intense personal animosities and a fractured Tory party.
"With respect to Ukraine and Russia, Truss is fully on board with Boris Johnson's support for military escalation and discouragement of Kiev to engage in negotiations. It is doubtful that either Truss or Sunak would change course independently of Washington," he said.
Roderick Kiewiet, a professor of political science at the California Institute of Technology, said he did not see any discernible policy differences between the two or between them and the outgoing prime minister.
"They are all strongly in favor of Brexit, of not being conciliatory to the EU, and highly supportive of ongoing military aid to Ukraine. This is not surprising — the loss of Russian oil and gas is not nearly as troubling to Britain as it is to Germany," he said.
Truss is a former Remainer who turned into a staunch Brexiteer after the 2016 referendum. She seems to have convinced the Tories of her change of heart and improved her chances of winning. On the economy, she is advocating for more expansive deficit spending and tax cuts whereas Sunak favors Thatcherism, which emphasizes free market fairness and limited government spending.
Notwithstanding their ideological disagreements, policies will almost certainly exact a heavy burden on working people as the economic crisis deepens, Cafruny suggested.