Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had ignored many opportunities to save face and get out of the situation in which he now finds himself, UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace has said.
During a panel discussion for the ConservativeHome right-wing UK political blog, he said that Putin continues to resort to brutality and is still trying to conquer Ukraine.
“What I mean is, if tomorrow we will build him a golden bridge, he will deliberately destroy it,” said Wallace.
The UK defense minister said that the world cannot let Putin win, otherwise it would result in a global disaster. If the “bandit” remains unstopped, it would mean that all international rules, conventions and agreements can be ignored and all nuclear threats can go without punishment, Wallace said.
“We cannot let him win,” said the UK official.
As Wallace put it, the Russian dictator is "an ethnic nationalist who lives in a fantasy about the reunion of the so-called ancient race."
He is not trying to improve the living conditions of his citizens, but instead wants to increase the strength of Russia at the expense of weakening opponents, particularly by dispersing discord in the West through the support of radical right and left forces, the minister added.
Wallace said the UK foreign ministry had advised him against visiting Ukraine on its Independence Day "because it might provoke Putin." He said that despite this, the West remains united in its support for Ukraine.
Earlier, on Sept. 29, Wallace made a secret visit to Ukraine to meet with his Ukrainian colleague Oleksiy Reznikov. Neither the Ukrainian, nor the British side announced his visit until after it was over.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has said London’s aid to Ukraine in 2023 will be worth about GBP 2.3 billion.
During her talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sept. 28, Truss said that "Ukraine can count on the support of Great Britain until President Putin is defeated."