Armed forces minister James Heappey has defended the Defence Secretary for seeming to compare Western efforts to prevent Russian invasion of Ukraine to failed 1938 agreement with Nazi Germany.
Ben Wallace told the Sunday Times: “It may be that he (Putin) just switches off his tanks and we all go home but there is a whiff of Munich in the air from some in the West.”
When asked about it on BBC Breakfast, Mr Heappey said: “I don’t think for a second that Ben was seeking to draw parallels, either between Hitler and President Putin, nor between Western allies and their approach.”
“I know because I’ve spoken to Ben over the weekend that what he was doing is after months of being engaged in this, months of flying all over Europe leading and pulling together the international response, and after a day, or in the margins of a day in Moscow that … in which I think he did a great job at trying to start that process of regaining confidence, he commented on the futility of the diplomatic effort.”
“This is desperate, you know, when you are in a place like Ben is, where you see and read so much stuff every day that makes clear just how grave the situation is and how awful the loss of life could be, you can imagine why Ben is working so hard to support Ukraine to pull together a diplomatic response, and why he might feel frustrated that it all appears to be so futile.”