Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said an imminent attack on Ukraine by Russia is “entirely possible”.
He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “We have to be realistic about Russia having 100,000 troops now roughly on the border that an imminent incursion by Russia is entirely possible.”
Mr Lewis also sought to explain Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s comparison of the West’s recent diplomatic efforts to appeasement, saying: “In the run up to World War Two there was lots of diplomatic work, people thought that was progressive but of course it turned out not to be”.
“I think what the Defence Secretary quite rightly was doing is drawing the comparison and being clear there’s a lot of diplomatic work going on… the Russian state is saying that it is not planning to invade but when you have 100,000, now 130,000, we estimate, troops on the border that would indicate there’s a possibility of an incursion,” Mr Lewis continued.
“It’s that balance and that decision and that interpretation of the difference of what we hope will be a diplomatic outcome but a realistic possibility that something much more tragic could occur.”