Boris Johnson has made a statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying he will increase sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s country and send military aid to the invaded country.
He echoed Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg’s claim that the invasion was unprovoked. After many weeks of sabre-rattling by Johnson himself, his foreign secretary Liz Truss and other members of the UK government, this is nonsense.
Here’s his statement:
“Our worst fears have come true and our warnings have proved tragically accurate”? Johnson pushed for Putin to invade Ukraine. He ignored the fears Putin was voicing and insisted that Putin was planning to invade – until, it seems, Putin felt he had no other option. Diplomacy failed because Johnson wasn’t listening.
“He has attacked a friendly country without any provocation and without any credible excuse.” Has he? The decision to expand Nato into Ukraine would have put troops hostile to Russia on Russia’s border; that is the reason for Putin’s objection and it is a good one. And we’re told that the breakaway regions in the east of Ukraine had appealed to Russia for help in the face of persecution by Ukrainian authorities. It seems unlikely that we will be able to verify the truth of that now events – and Russian troops – have overtaken those places.
“Innumerable missiles and bombs have been raining down on an entirely innocent population.” Innumerable? He makes it seem that Russia is bombing Ukraine indiscriminately – and that is certainly not true. There have been targeted bomb and missile attacks, though; that is not acceptable and it should have been enough for Johnson to condemn them for what they were, rather than lie about it.
“Ukraine is a country that, for decades, has enjoyed freedom and democracy, and the right to choose its own destiny. We, and the world, cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out.” Except if it’s Palestine, or any of the “unnumberable” countries the United States has invaded for no very good reason, eh? This is hypocrisy on a global scale, of course – and I state that without any prejudice against the crisis Ukraine faces now.
“Today… we will agree a massive package of economic sanctions designed, in time, to hobble the Russian economy.” Like the package that Johnson announced earlier this week, that didn’t bother Russia in the slightest?
Indeed, it was left to Liberal Democrat Layla Moran to name 35 Russian oligarchs she believed should have been sanctioned, but who Johnson had ignored.
Layla Moran uses parliamentary privilege to name 35 Russian oligarchs that she thinks should be sanctioned. 👏 pic.twitter.com/zTqeD8GmsK
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) February 22, 2022
Were these people ignored because some or all of them have donated money to the Conservative Party in the past? I don’t know the answer to that (yet).
But we do know that the Tories have taken more than £2 million in donations from rich Russians. What are they going to do with that money?
Kay Burley “that’s a yes then” pic.twitter.com/1WwWUyquch
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) February 23, 2022
They’re keeping it.
This behaviour undermines any faith in Boris Johnson and his sanctions. He’s not going to stop Russian money coming through the UK if it enriches himself and his party.
“We must also collectively cease the dependence on Russian oil and gas that has for too long given Putin his grip on Western politics.” This is something we can applaud, at least – depending on how Johnson chooses to provide the UK with energy. Will he reopen fossil fuel supplies, go nuclear, or turn wholeheartedly to the renewable energy generation systems we all so desperately need?
“… Eventually militarily, this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure.” Is Johnson saying he will commit the UK to military action against Russia? We will lose.
“We will of course do everything to keep our country safe.” Does anybody believe this from a man who takes Russian money?
It’s a four-minute speech saying nothing at all.
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