The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the west for arming Ukraine, arguing that its military support will prolong the war.
Countries including the UK and the US have sent Kyiv billions of pounds of weapons to help it fight off Vladimir Putin’s troops.
“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution. It is only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” Corbyn said, echoing the line taken by Moscow on western military aid to Ukraine.
Although the North Islington MP said he “disagrees” with the Russian invasion, he accused world leaders of using “the language of more war and more bellicose war” instead of pursuing peace.
“This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia and for the safety and security of the whole world, and therefore there has to be more, much more effort, put into peace,” he said.
The British politician, who made the comments to Al Mayadeen, a Lebanon-based TV station which has links to Iran and the Assad regime in Syria, also suggested that international bodies such as the African Union should be involved in peace negotiations if the UN is unable to oversee a ceasefire.
Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP who chairs the defence select committee, condemned Corbyn’s words on Ukraine.
“This is deeply irresponsible for a senior politician. I hope his comments are not seen to undermine the wider support for, and the commitment to, supporting Ukraine following this unprovoked invasion by Putin,” he told The Telegraph.
Corbyn also used the interview to air grievances about his expulsion from Labour in November 2020 over his response to a critical report about his handling of antisemitism as leader.
Shortly after his interview with Al Mayadeen, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said his country was still outgunned and outnumbered by Russia.
“This is very much felt in combat, especially in the Donbas,” he said. “It is just hell there. Words cannot describe it.”