Putin ‘trying to divide the west’ says Farage
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He tweeted: “Well, I was wrong. Putin has gone much further than I thought he would. A consequence of EU and Nato expansion, which came to a head in 2014. It made no sense to poke the Russian bear with a stick. These are dark days for Europe.”
His remarks come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed that Western inaction or under-reaction would have unthinkable consequences in a call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday.
He welcomed Germany’s decision to cancel certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, which was seen as a major economic blow to Moscow.
But, according to a Downing Street spokesperson, he said allies “must now make a concerted effort to bring the strongest possible sanctions to bear on the Putin regime”.
Mr Farage’s comments echo those made previously on his GB News programme in which he urged the prime minister to take away Russian president Vladimir Putin’s pretext for going to war with Ukraine by rethinking Western geopolitics.
He said: “It was the European Union wanting to expand, wanting the Ukraine (sic) to join it that directly led to that revolution and people stood there in the square of Kiev waving European Union flags, their country already being the beneficiary of pre-accession aid – that’s money.
“What possible strategic benefit or asset could it be for us, for the Ukraine (sic) to join Nato? Absolutely none whatsoever that I can see. So I think what Boris Johnson needs to do is to rethink the geopolitics of all of this, to convince the EU leaders, to convince the Americans that that is what we need to say. We take away Putin’s causus belli.”
READ MORE ABOUT PUTIN’S INVASION OF UKRAINE
The former UKIP and Brexit Party leader continued: “We know the Russians can be paranoid but why poke the Russian bear with a stick? And if Vladimir Putin’s one demand is that we state clearly that the Ukraine is not going to join Nato, why don’t we do it?”
Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday the military alliance has put warplanes on alert andit will reinforce troops on its eastern flank but has no plans to deploy any in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged citizens prepared to defend the country to come forward.
The European Commission has said new EU sanctions will hit Russia’s economy severely and erode its industrial base.
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