‘Clearly ridiculous’ for Putin to blame West for Ukraine war, says Sunak

Rishi Sunak has labelled “clearly ridiculous” claims by Vladimir Putin that the West and Nato are to blame to the war in Ukraine.

In an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the Russian President repeated his claim that his invasion of Ukraine, which Kyiv and its allies described as an unprovoked act of aggression, was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.

Speaking to broadcasters in the South West, the Prime Minister said it was “clearly ridiculous” to blame the West for the war.

“Russia conducted an illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. I’m proud that the UK has stood strongly with Ukraine from the beginning.

“It was my first visit of the year to announce significant military support to Ukraine and also a broader security relationship with them.

“We can’t let this type of behaviour go unchecked. It impacts all of our security.

“We’ve already seen the impact it had on everyone’s energy bills. And that’s why we’re working closely, not just with the US but with allies around the world, to give Ukraine the support it needs for as long as it takes to repel the Russian invasion.”

The same interview saw Mr Putin also repeat his claim that former prime minister Boris Johnson helped scupper a deal aimed at ending the war.

Mr Johnson has previously called the claim “total nonsense and Russian propaganda”, while senior Ukrainian figures have also previously rubbished the idea.

Mr Putin pointed at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to conduct talks with the Kremlin and argued that it is up to Washington to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and convince Kyiv, which he called a US “satellite”, to sit down for negotiations.

Stormont Assembly
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rejected the claims by the Russian leader (Liam McBurney/PA)

Mr Putin warned that the West will never succeed in inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Russia in Ukraine and rejected allegations that Russia was harbouring plans to attack Poland or other Nato countries.

It was Mr Putin’s first interview with Western media since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

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