‘EU got it completely wrong’ Brussels shamed for ‘ignoring’ UK and US over Russia war

Ukraine: Nick Ferrari clashes with radio caller over Putin

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It was only a matter of hours after Vladimir Putin announced his intention to “de-militarise” and “de-Nazify” Ukraine that some in Britain suggested Brexit was to blame. Writer Marcus Chown said in a post on Twitter the Brexit vote was “a vote for Putin”. But numerous commentators have since highlighted it is the UK and US which is leading the response to the Kremlin, with the EU following up the rear.

Dr Mike Martin, visiting fellow of War Studies at UCL, praised in a post on Twitter the “extraordinary pulling together of the EU” in the face of Russian aggression.

The US, he added, was “playing a key role, but from behind”.

Dr Martin said: “The EU is very much in the lead on this one.

“[This] makes the UK look a bit stupid for Brexiting, but there you go.”

Times columnist Iain Martin hit back at the anti-Brexit claim, branding it “ridiculous” and shunned the EU for its own lack of initial action.

He responded: “For two months the UK and the US toured the EU and EU capitals briefing on what was about to happen.

“They were not believed.

“The intelligence turned out to be correct.”

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Mr Martin added: “The EU has acted quickly, since invasion. Good.

“But only after getting it completely wrong.”

He went on to stress the UK, along with the EU, made numerous attempts to show the EU its approach was wrong.

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Officials spent “two months in the rooms” with their Brussels counterparts, he said, without persuading EU leaders of the dangers to come.

The blame for the bloc not seeing forward lied firmly with its own leaders, he added – not with the UK.

Mr Martin said: “EU states chose not to believe the two leading Western intelligence powers.

“That is not the fault of the UK.”

While Brussels has now been praised for responding to Putin’s actions, some have suggested their actions have not gone – and will not go – far enough.

In a stark warning to the bloc, Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global Associates, said: “Any effective sanctions against Russia will be more painful to the EU than to Russia.”

Even before this, it was suggested by a number of commentators that division within the EU made the West appear weak from Moscow, perhaps aiding – or, at the least, failing to diminish – Putin’s plans in Ukraine.

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