Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated in an interview with EFE and three other European news agencies that there can be no comparison between Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the US-led invasion of Iraq, which the UK government supported almost 20 years ago.
The British politician stated that invading a country with a democratically elected president who has never started a regional conflict or done any act of aggression against its neighbors is the opposite of removing a dictator who has brutalized his people and engaged in two regional wars in violation of several UN resolutions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to the “illegal invasion of Iraq,” which was supported by Blair’s government as a key US ally. He defined it as “one of the most flagrant examples of disregard for international law” in his speech to announce Moscow’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine last year.
Putin was referring to the fact that neither the UN Security Council nor the UN’s founding charter authorized the invasion of Iraq.
Blair, though, believed that Putin would have used another defense if it weren’t for that.
“We must never forget what Putin himself accomplished in Syria and the Middle East. At least you can claim we eliminated a despot and introduce democracy,” he added.
To justify his position, Blair, who found it awkward to bring up the Iraq War, said that “when you are prime minister, you take these decisions and take responsibility, and that comes with the job, and if you are not prepared to do that, to take the decision or to take the responsibility, you shouldn’t do the job.”
Because Russia and China, two members of the UN security council, have veto power, Blair continued, “it is tough to establish a rule-based international order in the current global political environment.
He said that there was no justification for invading an independent, sovereign country in the context of the Ukraine crisis. As a result, negotiations should start on the presumption that the invasion is wrong.
Blair asserts that diplomatic negotiations are the only way to end the crisis and prevent Russia’s assertiveness in Ukraine from succeeding.
The former PM continued, “The issue is that you cannot have such a solution if it either a) rewards Russian aggression or b) leaves Putin in a position where he briefly retires and then returns since that has been the rhythm of his activities over time.”
He continued that the countries of Eastern Europe, who require assurances that it won’t happen again, should pay particular attention to this delicacy.
Not just that Russia is destroyed as a result of its aggression against Ukraine but that it is defeated in a way that prevents Putin or any other Russian leader from revisiting these inherently imperialist types of objectivesTony Blair