IF THERE was one thing that British listeners should have picked up from Vladimir Putin’s interview last week, it was the intervention by Britain’s then prime minister Boris Johnson over Easter 2022.
Putin confirmed that, just prior to Johnson’s visit, a signed agreement had been reached ratified by the representatives of both Ukraine and Russia and counter-signed by France and Germany.
Johnson’s intervention caused Volodymyr Zelensky to back out of the agreement. Whether Johnson acted alone or on behalf of the US government, or elements within it, we do not know. But it is unlikely that Johnson would have acted without some sort of US sanction.
What we do know are the human consequences. According to the UN, just over a thousand civilians had lost their lives by April 2022. Since then 10 times that number have been killed and the same ratio is likely for the much higher level of military casualties.
Jeremy Hunt’s May 2023 Budget found an extra £11bn for defence. For the forthcoming Budget still more money was being proposed over the weekend “to strengthen Britain’s defences in the Red Sea.” Britain remains the second biggest contributor to Nato after the US.
Yet Britain is a country that can no longer afford the basic infrastructure needed for clean water, rail transport or a national grid capable of connecting existing renewable capacity — let alone a viable health service and effective schooling.
dizzy: I disagree with the contention: ” … it is unlikely that Johnson would have acted without some sort of US sanction.” It preseupposes that Johnson was measured in his behaviour when he was often poorly-briefed and out of control. [17/2/24 e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/06/boris-johnson-mistake-could-harm-case-for-nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-say-family ]