Ukraine has criticised the Defence Secretary’s comparison of diplomatic efforts aimed at preventing an invasion by Russia to appeasement as unhelpful, saying now is the wrong time to “offend our partners”.
Ben Wallace was on Sunday heading back from a family holiday in Europe, which he only began a day earlier, because of the “worsening situation in Ukraine”, having warned an attack is “highly likely”.
But his remarks that there is a “whiff of Munich in the air”, in a reference to the agreement that allowed German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 but failed to prevent the Second World War, was not welcomed by Ukraine.
Ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko warned that the panic being caused by the West sounding the alarm could be playing into Russia President Vladimir Putin’s hands.
“It’s not the best time for us to offend our partners in the world, reminding them of this act which actually not bought peace but the opposite, it bought war,” the diplomat told BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme.
“There’s panic everywhere not just in people’s minds but in financial markets as well,” he added, warning it is “hurting the Ukrainian economy on sort of the same level as people leaving the embassy”.