Moscow says there is ‘chance’ for progress on talks to avoid conflict

AArmed Forces Minister James Heappey has defended the Defense Secretary for appearing to compare Western efforts to prevent the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the failed 1938 deal with Nazi Germany.

Ben Wallace told the Sunday Times: “He (Putin) may just turn off his tanks and we all go home, but there’s a whiff of Munich in the air for some in the West.”

Asked about it on BBC Breakfast, Mr Heappey said: ‘I don’t think for a second that Ben was looking to draw parallels, neither between Hitler and President Putin, nor between the Western allies and their approach.

“I know because I spoke to Ben over the weekend that what he was doing was after months of commitment to this, months of flying all over Europe leading and bringing together the international response, and after a day, or on the fringes of a day in Moscow which … during which I think he did a great job of trying to start this confidence-building process, he commented on the futility of the diplomatic effort.”

“It’s desperate, you know, when you’re in a place like Ben, where you see and read so many things every day that show how bad the situation is and how terrible the loss of life could be, you can imagine why Ben is working so hard to help Ukraine craft a diplomatic response, and why he might feel frustrated that it all seems so futile.”

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