Nigel Farage suggests West should be open to negotiations with Putin

Founder of Reform UK said he was ‘shocked’ by the ’absolute reluctance’ to consider negotiations with Russia
Founder of Reform UK said he was ‘shocked’ by the ’absolute reluctance’ to consider negotiations with Russia - Bloomberg/Al Drago
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Nigel Farage has suggested that the West should be more open to negotiating with Vladimir Putin.

The founder of Reform UK said he was “shocked” by the “absolute reluctance” to consider negotiations with Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

It comes after Putin, during an interview with Tucker Carlson, the US broadcaster, accused Boris Johnson of sabotaging a peace deal with Ukraine in the spring of that year.

Responding to the interview, Mr Farage told GB News: “After what was said last night, [Russia is] not going to stop and they’re switching vast amounts of their industrial production in Russia towards defence. They will never give up on this.

“Now, we can find much of what’s happening abhorrent, but the thing that shocked me all the way through has been the absolute reluctance of anyone to think, shouldn’t we at least be having some form of negotiations?”

In Thursday’s interview, Putin claimed a peace deal was settled in Istanbul with Ukraine’s chief negotiator but scuppered by Mr Johnson.

He said: “Prime minister Johnson came to talk us out of it and we missed that chance. Well, you missed it. The fact that they obey the demand or persuasion of Mr Johnson, the former prime minister of Great Britain, seems ridiculous.”

Mr Johnson has previously dismissed the claims as “total nonsense” and “Russian propaganda”.

Mr Farage said of the claims: “I thought what was very interesting, and he has said it before, but he said it more forcefully, that peace negotiations could have happened.

“A deal could have been talked about that clearly, he would have wanted a deal on his terms, but a deal could have been talked about, but it was scuppered by Boris Johnson.”

Vladimir Putin accused Boris Johnson of sabotaging a peace deal with Ukraine in 2022 during an interview with Tucker Carlson, the US broadcaster
Vladimir Putin accused Boris Johnson of sabotaging a peace deal with Ukraine in 2022 during an interview with Tucker Carlson, the US broadcaster - Gavriil Grigorov/Reuters

Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, criticised Mr Farage over the comments, describing them as “dangerous, defeatist and unpatriotic”.

“It also fails to understand the bigger picture of where our world is heading,” he said. “Other adversaries, particularly China, will take note of our inability to remain committed and will take full advantage.”

He added that “Farage needs to be careful he doesn’t turn into Lord Haw-Haw”, referring to the broadcaster of Nazi propaganda to Britain from Germany in the Second World War.

Ben Wallace, the former defence secretary, said: “Just as well Mr Farage wasn’t in charge in 1939.

“We would all be speaking German.”

Mr Farage said: “The relentless insistence on continued war is worrying. The death toll is horrendous and Ukraine are making no progress.

“Our country is not directly threatened by this so we could try to be a peace broker. It may fail, but it’s worth trying.”

Mr Farage also spoke about Putin’s threats of a global war if the US sent troops to Ukraine as the Russian leader’s “attempt to try and further manipulate debate in the United States where, right now, the funding for Ukraine is being held up in Congress”.

He said: “I think what Putin sees is that in a long war, the West is getting tired of funding Ukraine. So I mean, it was used by him clearly, with strong propaganda purposes.”

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