Ben Wallace was not making “direct comparisons” between any individuals when he said there was a “whiff of Munich in the air” yesterday, the armed forces minister insisted.
“Ben was expressing his frustration at the apparent futility of the diplomatic process,” James Heappey insisted. ” He was in Moscow on Friday for a very exacting meeting with Minister Shoygu in which I thought he did very well.
“But I know both privately and as you’ve seen publicly he’s deeply concerned that all of this is futile and I can understand why he’s so frustrated. I am certain they will know exactly what he meant and they certainly know that he doesn’t mean any insult or injury whatsoever, in fact quite the reverse.
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, said it risked offending Nato allies by raising the spectre of the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, but Mr Heappey highlighted Mr Prystaiko “went out to clarify know that Ben Wallace is one of their very best friends in the world”.