The West will need to have a military confrontation with Vladimir Putin at some point, a Liverpool City Region MP has told the House of Commons.
Speaking in a debate on Ukraine, Derek Twigg, Labour MP for Halton, branded the Russian leader a ‘tyrant’ and quizzed the Secretary of State for Defence about the level of information which was being put into the public domain.
NATO is currently resisting calls from Ukraine to implement a no-fly zone over the country, amid fears it could lead to all out war between Russia and the West.
The Russian President alarmed many observers recently by putting his nuclear forces on high alert, with the United States warning on Thursday that he could be planning to launch a chemical attack.
Mr Twigg, who previously served as Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans in the Blair administration, told MPs that allowing the Russians to know what measures were off the table was a ‘strategic mistake’.
He said: “I do think it is a strategic mistake that when confronting a tyrant we tell him what we will not do.
“If Putin remains in power, we will have to confront him at some point militarily. We should be aware of that and get it out in the open.
“But my question is what level of slaughter of Ukrainians are we willing to see before NATO and the west intervene militarily in Ukraine, such as by ensuring safe areas in western Ukraine.”
Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace said it was ‘difficult’ to balance what information to put out.
He added: “I have to come to this House to get policy permission from you before we take a different step on the weapons systems, and that is the right thing to do; we have to make sure that this is calibrated into the right process.
“It is important with Putin, especially as he would seek to discover things and potentially use them to escalate, that we are up front and transparent about what we are going to do, so that he cannot try to repackage it as a major strategic issue.”
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