In March 2014, a year before he was elected leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn was invited onto the BBC’s ‘The Big Questions’ program to debate whether or not the west should go to war over Ukraine.

He said: “I think the wider issue is that the EU has got very close to NATO. NATO has been pushing very hard to expand eastwards. Inevitably Russia is going to get very nervous if NATO sets up bases all around its borders, that in turn encourages Russian militarism. Can’t we go back to the point where Ukraine was a nuclear-free country that was not going to be a member of any alliance, either with Russia or with NATO and start to de-militarize and de-escalate the situation and allow a proper debate, much longer than a week, for people to decide their own future in Ukraine. It seems to me that there’s a terrible danger of a rush to a combination of an economic and a military war and goodness knows what the consequence of that will be… the UN, clearly if it takes a one-sided decision it’s going to get vetoed by somebody so, clearly, it cannot take that. Therefore, it falls to the UN to try and bring the sides together and pursue a process of de-militarization but I’m quite alarmed by the way in which the NATO general secretary seems to be ramping up the ante all the time. It’s not his job to go around promoting wars, he’s meant to be answerable to a number of different governments. He appears to be behaving as though he’s some free agent that could say and do what he likes and develop this very very dangerous scenario. Ukraine has been the war ground of Europe for two centuries… millions have died in Ukraine from famine, from war, from occupation and from disasters.. let’s not visit that upon them again! Let’s try to de-escalate, de-militarize and bring about some kind of dialogue and peace process which will guarantee a peaceful future for those people and for Europe”.

Jeremy Corbyn is excluded from Starmer’s Labour. Peter Mandelson, who thought Russia was going in the right direction, is a key adviser to Starmer.

Mandy Shering


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