Jeremy Corbyn says he stands by comments on supply of Western weapons to Ukraine

Jeremy Corbyn says he stands by comments on supply of Western weapons to Ukraine
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Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 11/08/2022

- 07:25

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:45

Mr Corbyn previously said “pouring arms in” would “prolong and exaggerate” the war

Jeremy Corbyn has said he stands by statements he made on the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine.

In an interview in July he said “pouring arms in” would “prolong and exaggerate” the war, saying more effort should be placed on securing a ceasefire.

On Wednesday, the Islington North MP said his removal from Labour’s parliamentary group was “completely wrong” and also described the Aukus defence deal between the UK, US and Australia as “dangerous”.

Mr Corbyn was asked about his comments from July and whether he wanted the supply of weapons to Ukraine to stop.

Jeremy Corbyn attends a ceremony on Westminster Bridge in London, to unveil a plaque to mark the fifth anniversary of the Westminster Bridge terror attack. Picture date: Tuesday March 22, 2022.
Jeremy Corbyn
Kirsty O'Connor

To which he replied: “I think the words I used was, the only policy being followed by most of the West is to pour arms into the Ukraine.

“The point I was making was there is nobody as far as I can see pushing enough to get some kind of ceasefire," he told LBC.

The recent deal on grain exports from Ukraine indicated an agreement was possible, he said.

Mr Corbyn continued: “The killing has to stop, the peace protesters in Russia have to be recognised.

“The loss of peoples’ lives in Ukraine and the refugees have got to be recognised.

“The war has to stop, otherwise where does it go?

A Ukrainian serviceman jumps from a military vehicle near a frontline in Mykolaiv region, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine August 10, 2022.  REUTERS/Anna Kudriavtseva     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The war in Ukraine continues

“You’ve got nuclear arms in the neighbourhood.”

Mr Corbyn was then asked if that was for the head of the Ukrainian government to decide, as his territory had been invaded.

He replied: “His territory has been invaded, I absolutely condemn the Russian invasion.”

He said he had long condemned human rights abuses by Russia, including during the Chechen war.

The Islington North MP continued: “We could just watch the war go on.

“Put more arms in there, Russia will put more arms in, and it will go on and there will be more killing.”

Saying he did not want the war to continue for years, he added: “A ceasefire, followed by withdrawal, followed by some kind of agreement between the countries has got to be the way forward.”

He was then asked if that meant Ukraine and the West would have to accept that Russia had taken more territory.

Mr Corbyn said this did not have to be the case, saying: “The issues of the Donbas have been in dispute for some time, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk.

“There has been a war going on there for a long time. “In the case of Crimea Russia would claim they had a referendum albeit nobody recognised the conduct of that referendum.

“There has to be some negotiation on what’s going to happen in the future. “Russian and Ukrainian people are interlinked in so many ways, they were part of the same country until 1992.”

Mr Corbyn was also asked about statements from Stop The War, an organisation he said he was “eternal vice president” of.

But he said he sometimes disagreed with the language Stop The War used.

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