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Cameron compares situation in Europe to 1930s, warns against appeasement

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 18, 2024 10:48 AM 2 min read
U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron at the NATO foreign ministers' meeting on Nov. 28, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Omar Havana/Getty Images)
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U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has meant that the current reality is "like being a Foreign Minister or a leader in Europe in the 1930s" in a podcast published by Politico on Jan. 18.

Cameron, who was U.K. Prime Minister between 2010 and 2016, was appointed foreign secretary in November 2023.

"To me, Ukraine is the absolute number one priority," he answered when the podcast host asked if Russia's invasion of Ukraine was at risk of being forgotten.

"This is the challenge for our generation. This is like being a Foreign Minister or a leader in Europe in the 1930s. We have got to not appease Putin, we have got to stand up to the evil that his invasion represents," he said.

"I think there is a lot of attention on Ukraine, a lot of unity, and a lot of purpose," Cameron said.

Cameron referenced the continued support from France, Germany, and the European Union, as well as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's visit to Kyiv, during which he announced a $3.2 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Jan. 16 that France will send Ukraine 40 new long-range SCALP-EG missiles in addition to "hundreds of bombs." Germany also announced plans to provide Ukraine with security assistance worth over 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

Cameron said that Ukrainians have demonstrated that "Putin isn't winning," as he has "lost 300,000 people, he has lost a fifth of his Black Sea Fleet," and he has encouraged two more countries to join NATO, namely Sweden and Finland.

Cameron was also asked what to expect if Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election in November.

"If you show during the course of this year a level of commitment and success, and you continue to demonstrate the vulnerability of Putin's Russia, whoever takes the presidency at the end of this year will have to look at the situation as it is, and not at the narrative perhaps is going at the moment," Cameron responded.

Trump, who was president between 2017 and 2021, is currently ahead in the polls to become the Republican nominee. Trump has broadly criticized Biden's policy on Ukraine and declared he would be able to resolve Russia's war against Ukraine in "24 hours."

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