Ukraine crisis: 'There's a lot of posturing' says Gaunt
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The surprise statement comes as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine have soared in recent days, as the West and NATO have failed to come to a deal with Vladimir Putin over the crisis which has seen 100,000 Russian troops and a raft of military hardware amassed on the border.
Explaining his feelings, Mr Gaunt said those in the West should try to sympathise somewhat with Mr Putin’s concerns of the EU’s supposed efforts of expansion into Ukraine.
He also accused the EU of “a lot of posturing” with military movements on Mr Putin’s borders which he said the bloc “love” doing, despite it being provocative.
He told GB News on Wednesday: “I don’t want to sound as if I am in the pocket of President Putin, but he has a right to be annoyed.
“Because the EU are trying to expand into the Ukraine!”
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Fellow presenter Eamonn Holmes chimed in with agreement, stressing the presence of NATO drills and beefed up military presences on the EU’s borders would clearly be a concern to anyone.
He said: “We take all the press totally from our side on this, but if I was sitting somewhere and another country were bringing their missiles and their tanks right up, nose-to-nose with me…
“If this was Cuba, America wouldn’t be allowing this to happen!”
Mr Gaunt added: “We have got this situation where the EU and NATO want to expand that way and they want to put their weapons there.
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“If you were Vladimir Putin, you would be thinking I’m not having this!”
He added how he was “fed up” with anti-Russian propaganda making headlines as he insisted “the real problem” faced by the west is China.
While he went on to call for “more jaw jaw, less war war” from the EU as he accused them of not helping to calm relations, before slamming “there is a lot of posturing and the EU love it! They love it!”
He went as far as to say the UK “were so right never to sign up to an EU army” which he claimed would otherwise have meant the UK could be further dragged into the military build up disputes.
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Plans for an EU army will be discussed at a conference in March on demands of French Presdient Emmanuel Macron.
It comes as the UK has sent British Army troops to train Ukrainian soldiers as well as high-tech weaponry to the border with Russia amid fears of an imminent invasion.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said this includes “light armour defensive weapons” such as anti-tank weapons. These have been shipped alongside “short range” weapons to be used in “self-defence”.
Mr Wallace told the Commons on Monday: “Ukraine is not a member of NATO and I think it would be false hope to say that the British armed forces would be going unilaterally to Ukraine to join forces alongside Ukrainians in that environment, which is why we are putting all the effort in helping Ukraine help themselves, sanctions packages and diplomatic efforts.”
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