Farage doubles down on Ukraine claims following criticism from Sunak and Starmer

Nigel Farage has doubled down on his claims that the West provoked Vladimir Putin into invading Ukraine.

The Reform UK leader has insisted he will not apologise for his remarks during a BBC Panorama interview, and said he was not an “apologist or supporter of Putin”.

Mr Farage’s defence comes after both Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak condemned his earlier comments.

farage doubles down on ukraine claims following criticism from sunak and starmer

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a meeting with representatives of the night-time economy in central London

Prime Minister Mr Sunak said the Reform UK leader was “completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands”, and likened the comments made in the interview to appeasement of the Russian president.

Labour leader Sir Keir called the remarks “disgraceful” and said anyone standing for Parliament should make clear Russia is the aggressor in the conflict.

Mr Farage claimed “we provoked this war” in the BBC interview, while drawing a link between Nato and European Union expansion in recent decades and the conflict in eastern Europe.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, in an article entitled “the West’s errors in Ukraine have been catastrophic. I won’t apologise for telling the truth”, Mr Farage said the “political establishment” had been echoing a “slur” about him.

He added: “I am not and never have been an apologist or supporter of Putin. His invasion of Ukraine was immoral, outrageous and indefensible. As a champion of national sovereignty, I believe that Putin was entirely wrong to invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine.

“Nobody can fairly accuse me of being an appeaser. I have never sought to justify Putin’s invasion in any way and I’m not now.”

He added: “But that doesn’t change the fact that I saw it coming a decade ago, warned that it was coming and am one of the few political figures who has been consistently right and honest about Russia’s Ukraine war.

“What I have been saying for the past 10 years is that the West has played into Putin’s hands, giving him the excuse to do what he wanted to do anyway.”

The Reform leader, in his interview broadcast on Thursday night, drew a link between Nato and European Union expansion in recent decades and the conflict in eastern Europe.

“It was obvious to me that the ever-eastward expansion of Nato and the European Union was giving this man a reason to his Russian people to say, ‘they’re coming for us again’ and to go to war,” he told the BBC Panorama special.

Mr Farage said he had been making similar comments “since the 1990s, ever since the fall of the (Berlin) wall”, and added: “Hang on a second, we provoked this war.”

Mr Sunak said the comment was “completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands”.

The Prime Minister added: “This is a man (Mr Putin) who deployed nerve agent on the streets of Britain, who is doing deals with countries like North Korea, and this kind of appeasement is dangerous for Britain’s security, the security of our allies that rely on us, and only emboldens Putin further.”

farage doubles down on ukraine claims following criticism from sunak and starmer

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir meanwhile said: “Anyone who is standing for Parliament ought to be really clear that Russia is the aggressor, Putin bears responsibility, and that we stand with Ukraine, as we have done from the beginning of this conflict, and Parliament has spoken with one voice on this since the beginning of the conflict.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said he did not “share any values” with Mr Farage, while Scottish First Minister John Swinney accused the Reform leader of being a “traitor to the interests of the people on these islands”.

Conservative former defence secretary Ben Wallace had earlier in the day joked about Mr Farage’s claims to have predicted the likelihood of the war in Ukraine.

“I think Nigel Farage is a bit like that pub bore we have all met at the end of the bar who often says if ‘I was running the country’ and presents very simplistic answers to actually I am afraid in the 21st century complex problems,” Mr Wallace told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

He also claimed the Reform leader need to learn to “deal with the real world” of politics.

OTHER NEWS

1 hour ago

5 high-speed trains that will blow you away

1 hour ago

Salman Rushdie stabbing suspect now faces federal terrorism charges

1 hour ago

Microsoft to take massive hit as Fortune 500 firms suffer $5.4B in losses from Crowdstrike outage: study

1 hour ago

Coffee prices poised to surge again as supply-chain disruptions create bean shortages

1 hour ago

Cher, 78, reveals she is releasing a TWO part memoir that will share her 'true story in intimate detail' while posting a first look at the book cover

1 hour ago

NOA Bridal: Perth brides left scrambling to find dresses as wedding boutique owner Elizabeth Lyndon-James filed for bankruptcy

1 hour ago

Council chiefs issue desperate cash plea to Swinney to stop strikes

1 hour ago

Long Covid cannot be blamed for constant tiredness, brain fog or muscle pain, study suggests

1 hour ago

Video: Hear the terrifying mayday call from boaters who watched huge humpback whale breach above ship and sink it

1 hour ago

Video: Timothée Chalamet's Bob Dylan is seen in action for the first time as the actor performs A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall in the trailer for the singer's biopic A Complete Unknown

1 hour ago

Video: It's just not cricket! Shocking moment two warring spectators pull out stumps and wield bat as they square up to each other on the field

1 hour ago

Video: Stunning Colorado mansion with glorious mountain views and VERY lavish barn lists for $12m

1 hour ago

‘Presumed Innocent’ Finale Delivers Double Twist; Does It Set Up Season 2?

1 hour ago

Argentina scores chaotic equalizer in stoppage time vs. Morocco to open Olympics

1 hour ago

Two people rescued after breaching whale capsizes boat off New Hampshire coast

1 hour ago

Tua Tagovailoa's practice status 'fluid' amid contract talks

1 hour ago

Stan Bowman, after Blackhawks case, hired as GM of Oilers

1 hour ago

Tennis world No 1 Jannik Sinner forced to pull out of Olympics

1 hour ago

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter’s company warned it could be struck off

1 hour ago

Formula One statistics for the Belgian Grand Prix

1 hour ago

Verstappen on two triple runs but one must end

1 hour ago

Derrick Henry says he will let 'play speak' for itself when asked about wear and tear

1 hour ago

46 days until Saints' season opener: Every player to wear No. 46

1 hour ago

Tortilla Mexican Grill shares tumble on sales hit from move to quit Deliveroo

1 hour ago

Unburdened by What Has Been, Bernie Bros Join the KHive

1 hour ago

Vikings agree to 4-year extension with LT Christian Darrisaw worth up to $113M

1 hour ago

Twelve classic novels to read this summer that aren’t War and Peace

1 hour ago

Disruptive rainfall to hit Cape Town and surrounding areas

1 hour ago

Pep Guardiola breaks silence on Ederson transfer as Man City boss takes notable stance

1 hour ago

IOC, fearing U.S. FBI probes, drops a bombshell in Salt Lake 2034 Olympics contract

1 hour ago

Trafford Centre owner sees profit slump by more than half despite revenue nearing £100m

1 hour ago

Golf icon warns Shane Lowry may regret comments after Open Championship woes

1 hour ago

Haason Reddick rejected Jets contract offer | The Carton Show

1 hour ago

Severe storms return to Ontario, Quebec with more rain and a tornado risk

1 hour ago

Imran Khan to run for chancellor of Oxford University from prison

1 hour ago

Thabiso Monyane said Orlando Pirates new signing Gilberto can help the side win a treble

1 hour ago

Kamala Harris, dozens of lawmakers sit out Netanyahu speech to Congress

1 hour ago

Prince William opts not to declare how much tax he pays on billion-pound Duchy of Cornwall empire - despite King Charles regularly doing so when he was Prince of Wales

1 hour ago

Did DEI crash 8.5M computers? CrowdStrike probed for sidelining its white, male coders

1 hour ago

Video shows female 'doctor' leaving hospital with three-hour-old baby...but all is not what it seems

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global