Former Tory Cabinet minister, Ken Clarke, has described the resolve of David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, to send UK soldiers to help train government forces fighting Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine as of no use.
Clarke, former Conservative Cabinet minister and Justice Secretary, added that “no matter how well trained the Ukrainian army is”, Russian forces were still capable of defeating them “by the end of the week”. His comments that came after the British Prime Minister’s announcement about sending British troops to Ukraine to impart training to the government forces fighting Russian separatists are likely to infuriate Downing Street. Earlier, 10 Downing Street announced that around 75 UK soldiers will reach Ukraine to provide intelligence, logistics, medical support, and infantry skills to the nationalist forces. Cameron apprehended invasion of other Baltic states by Putin, the Russian President who, he added, must be stopped. He told The Telegraph while on a trade mission in Colombia that the world had misread Putin and his intentions. The use of military might to reopen sectarian ad nationalist divisions in the vicinity of his country was unacceptable to him.
Cameron insisted and emphasized diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian problem, but did not entirely rule out supply of lethal weapons and other military assistance to the Ukrainian forces. He was in favor of further sanctions against Russia, if pro-Russian forces attacked the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. He anticipated Mariupol to be the next flashpoint, and that becoming true, he thought, the demand for stronger and collective action would become more vociferous especially from the Baltic States, Poland, and many others. He further added that instability in the region would persist if the world was not united in facing Putin who, he anticipated, might attack Moldova or any other Baltic state the next. That’s the reason of Britain, he added, taking such a clear stand on the Ukrainian issue.