July 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Nigel Farage has been criticized for saying it was the West that provoked the war in Ukraine

Nigel Farage has been criticized for saying it was the West that provoked the war in Ukraine
Video explanation, Nigel Farage: We provoked war in Ukraine

  • author, Becky Morton
  • Role, Political reporter

Nigel Farage was criticized for suggesting that the West had “provoked” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by expanding the EU-NATO military alliance eastwards.

The UK reform leader told the BBC that the war was “of course” President Vladimir Putin’s fault.

But he added that the expansion of the European Union and NATO gave him a “reason” to tell the Russian people that “they are coming for us again.”

Former Conservative Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who will not stand for election, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that Farage was like a “boring pub we all met at the end of the pub”.

Conservative Home Secretary James Cleverly said Farage was echoing Putin’s “despicable justification” for the war, and Labor described him as “unfit” for any political office.

The former UKIP leader later said he was one of the “few figures” who had been “consistent and honest” on the issue.

“I said I didn’t like him as a person, but I admired him as a political player because he managed to control the administration of Russia,” Farage said.

Farage said he had been arguing since the 1990s that the “continuous eastward expansion” of NATO and the European Union gave President Putin “a reason to act.” [give to] “His Russian people to say they are coming for us again and go to war.”

He added: “We provoked this war. Of course it is [President Putin’s] flaw.”

Mr Wallace – who oversaw the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – said Mr Farage is “a bit like that pub we all met at the end of the pub” and often gives “oversimplified answers” to complex questions. problems.

He also said the UK reform leader was “consistently wrong” on the issue, adding: “Putin isn’t really invading Ukraine because of NATO expansion.”

Mr. Wallace pointed out that a 7,000-word article written by the Russian leader before the invasion began — and which is later seen as setting out his rationale for starting the war — only mentioned NATO in one paragraph.

Labour’s defense spokesman, John Healey, said Farage’s comments made him “unsuitable for any political office in our country, let alone leading a serious party in Parliament.”

Former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson accused Farage of “imitating the Kremlin line” and “offering new excuses for the brutal and unprovoked attack.”

During the interview, the UK Reform leader claimed that Lord Robertson agreed that the war was over EU expansion.

Lord Robertson told Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme: “To say we have provoked Russia is like saying that if you buy a burglar alarm, you are in some way provoking burglars.”

After the interview aired on Friday, Farage said on X (formerly Twitter) that he was “one of the few figures who has been consistent and honest about the war with Russia.”

Along with the new statement, he republished a speech in the European Parliament from 2014 in which he called on the West to “stop playing war games with Putin.”

Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This followed the occupation of the Crimean and Donbas regions in 2014.

However, the country applied to join both blocs after the Russian invasion.

NATO was formed in 1949 by 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many Eastern European countries, including Hungary, Poland and Estonia, joined.

The European Union has also expanded since the 1990s, with a number of Eastern European countries joining in 2004.

In the interview, Farage also accused the Conservatives of failing to deliver on Brexit.

As leader of the UK Independence Party, he was a key figure in the campaign to leave the European Union.

While the issue dominated the 2019 general election, with Boris Johnson campaigning under the slogan “Get Brexit Done”, it has not featured prominently in the current campaign.

Asked whether he stood by his previous claim that Brexit had failed, Farage said: “No, it is not a failure but we have failed to achieve it.”

“It cannot be a failure. We have left the European Union. We are now self-governing,” he added.

But he added: “Brexit has failed those who voted for it, believing that migrant numbers would fall.”

Net migration – the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving – has risen sharply since 2021, when the UK left the European Union.

This was driven by non-EU nationals coming to the UK.

Net migration reached record levels in 2022 before declining slightly the following year.

When asked if he placed the blame solely on others, Farage said: “If you put me in charge, it would be very, very different. Of course they didn’t.”

“The Conservative Party never believed in Brexit… They seized it as a political opportunity, and failed to deliver.”

Farage also faced questions about his position on climate change and whether he believes it is not really a “crisis”.

“I think since the late 1980s there may have been a little bit of hype around this, and I think that’s probably a mistake,” he said.

“All we talk about is fear, not solutions.”

“We spend a lot of time thinking about the problem instead of thinking practically and logically about what we can do,” he added.

Farage described Labour’s and the Tories’ net-zero carbon policies as “nonsense”, claiming £30bn a year could be saved by dropping their climate pledges.

The party blamed a company it hired to conduct background checks on potential candidates, claiming it failed to conduct the audit before calling the election.

Asked why some people with extreme views rallied to his cause, Farage said: “They didn’t come there because of me.”

Despite his participation in founding the party and being its honorary president, he insisted that “I have not been involved in the day-to-day management of the party for more than three years.

“These candidates were recruited before I said I would play an active role in the party.”

Mr Farage took over as Reform leader from Richard Tice in only the second full week of the election campaign.

The BBC interviews the leaders of the main parties in the run-up to the election in Panorama Interviews with Nick Robinson. The interview with Nigel Farage was broadcast at 19:00 on BBC One on Friday and is available On BBC iPlayer.

You can find a full list of candidates in the Clacton constituency here.

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