Cleverly slaps down Vladimir Putin as Russian President rambles for 3 1/2 hours
The Russian leader launched his brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February but is facing fierce resistance.
By Katie Harris
00:20, Sat, Oct 29, 2022 | UPDATED: 00:24, Sat, Oct 29, 2022
Putin: Russia ‘will never make peace’ with an ‘aggressive’ West
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
James Cleverly has hit out at Vladimir Putin after the Russian President gave a rambling speech today. The Foreign Secretary branded Mr Putin’s address on Thursday as “unclear, untrue and unedifying”.
- Cleverly admits he is ‘disappointed’ Boris abandoned dramatic comeback
- Can Putin survive a winter of discontent, Russians are waking up
The Russian leader took part in a more than three-and-a-half-hour question-and-answer session at the annual Valdai forum.
In the wide-ranging speech, Mr Putin sought to justify his brutal invasion of Ukraine and heavily criticised the West.
But Mr Cleverly said: “Putin’s message today to the Russian people is unclear, untrue and unedifying.
“What is crystal clear, is our message to the world.
“Aggressors must not be able to invade their neighbours with impunity.
“We will resolutely support Ukraine in its fight for freedom and democracy.”
James Cleverly has hit out at Vladimir Putin over his speech (Image: GETTY)
During his speech, Mr Putin warned the world faces “probably the most dangerous” decade since the end of Second World War.
He said: “The historical period of the West’s undivided dominance over world affairs is coming to an end.
“We are standing at a historical frontier.
“Ahead is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and, at the same time, important decade since the end of World War Two.”
Mr Putin insisted Russia had not threatened to use nuclear weapons and had only responded to the West.
- It comes amid concerns Moscow could turn to nuclear weapons as it struggles to make ground in Ukraine.
- Putin ‘backing himself into a corner’ as he is running out of options
- Putin accuses ‘out of it’ Truss of nuclear weapons threat
Mr Putin said: “We’ve never said anything proactively about possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia.
“We have only hinted in response to those statements that the Western leaders have made.
Singling out former PM Liz Truss, Mr Putin continued: “Liz Truss, the ex-prime minister of the United Kingdom, she said it directly.
- “In her conversation with a representative of the media, she said that the UK is a nuclear power and the prime minister has, in their mandate, the possible use of nuclear weapons.
- “I’m not quoting her and she said that she’s prepared to do that. And no one responded in any way.
- “Well, she just made a folly, she was a bit out of it.
The Russian leader took part in a question-and-answer session at the annual Valdai forum on Thursday (Image: GETTY)
- Rishi Sunak hit by Boris Johnson problem as new PM faces battle ahead
- Daily Express campaign urges Sunak to protect pension triple lock
- Cleverly slaps down Putin as Russian leader gives rambling speech
“But can you say these things publicly? Well, even if she said it, someone should have corrected that.
“Washington, for example, could have said that they have nothing to do with that.”
It was not immediately clear what comments Mr Putin was referring to, but during the Tory leadership contest over the summer Ms Truss had been asked about the potential use of nuclear weapons.
Asked during a hustings event how she would feel about having to make decisions on nuclear warfare, she said: “I think it is an important duty of the prime minister, I am ready to do that.”
Mr Putin also insisted Russia was fighting to protect the people of the Donbas, referring to two of the four Ukrainian provinces he annexed last month.