Britain Must Help Remove 'Cancerous Growth' Russia From Ukraine, Says Ben Wallace

The defence secretary said Vladimir Putin must not be allowed to retain any territory in the war-torn country.
Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace
Sky News

Russia is like a “cancerous growth” in Ukraine that must be removed, Ben Wallace has said.

The defence secretary said Britain would do all it could to “get the limpet off the rock” and ensure Vladimir Putin does not retain any territory in the country.

His comments came after foreign secretary Liz Truss said that Russian forces must be pushed out of “the whole of Ukraine”.

Appearing on Sky News, Wallace said Russian president Vladimir Putin had failed in his mission to occupy the whole of Ukraine, so was now trying to retain the territory he has held since 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea.

He said: “I think it’s certainly the case that Putin, having failed in nearly all its objectives may seek to consolidate what he’s got, sort of fortify and dig in, as he did in 2014, and just be a sort of cancerous growth within the country of Ukraine and make it very hard for people to move them out of those fortified positions.

“So I think it’s really about if we want this to not happen, we have to help Ukrainians effectively get the limpet off the rock and keep the momentum pushing them back.”

He added: “The international community believes Russia should leave Ukraine, the international community has condemned Russia for its invasion of Crimea, which was illegal in 2014.

“We’ve constantly said that Russia should leave Ukraine sovereign territory so that hasn’t changed.”

The defence secretary said there was “a long way to go before Ukraine pushes into Crimea”, but that the UK would back them if they chose to do so.

“I think what I would certainly say is, we are supporting Ukraine’s sovereign integrity,” he said. “We’ve done that all along. That of course includes Crimea.

“But you know, first and foremost, let’s get Russia out of where they are now in its invasion plans and help Ukraine resolve and actually remember the Minsk agreement, which Russia has basically ripped up, was all about trying to resolve those two occupied territories.

“But the key thing is to continue to support Ukraine’s sovereign integrity and their ability to defend themselves”.


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