Tony Blair meddles again as ex-PM wades in on Ukraine war row: 'We've got two weeks!'
The former PM has warned the West must secure at peace deal with Putin in the next fortnight
Sir Tony Blair has urged the West to negotiate a peace deal with Russia to end the war in Ukraine before "the assault on Kyiv becomes worse".
The former Prime Minister warned that the West had just two weeks to agree a settlement with Russian President Vladimir Putin to avoid the conflict from escalating.
In an essay on the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change website, the ex-PM highlighted the importance of negotiation in the next two weeks before "the Ukrainian people become hostile to any negotiation, or Putin faces a binary choice between 'double down’ or retreat”.
Sir Tony said he accepted "that there is not political support for any direct military engagement by NATO of Russia".
He wrote: "We should be clear-eyed about what Putin is doing. He is using our correct desire not to provoke escalation alongside his willingness to escalate as a bargaining chip against us. When he is threatening NATO, even stoking fears of nuclear conflict, in pursuit of his attempt to topple by force a peaceful nation’s democratically elected president and wage war on its people, there is something incongruous about our repeated reassurance to him that we will not react with force.
"I accept the reasoning behind our stance. But suppose he uses chemical weapons or a tactical nuclear weapon, or tries to destroy Kyiv as he did Aleppo in Syria, without any regard to the loss of civilian life – is it sensible to tell him in advance that whatever he does militarily, we will rule out any form of military response? Maybe that is our position and maybe that is the right position, but continually signalling it, and removing doubt in his mind, is a strange tactic."
Sir Tony was appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry, in the New Year’s honours list.
However, a Change.org petition to strip him of his knighthood gathered more than one million signatures.
The petition said: “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society.
“He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.
“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.”