Maybe if Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov would be a little nicer to the U.S. and NATO the West would become their friend. Surely it’s only a slight misunderstanding.

Drop your Tsarist ambition to invade Ukraine or face sanctions, Ben Wallace warns Vladimir Putin

Ben Wallace has accused Vladimir Putin of Tsarist ambitions as he said there will be “severe economic sanctions” if Ukraine is invaded.

The Defence Secretary made his comments after high-stakes talks this week between Nato and Russia failed to find a solution to the Kremlin’s increasingly threatening behaviour towards its neighbour.

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“I’m concerned that what this is really about is President Putin’s legacy; that is about a false vision, a Russia that even the Tsars failed to create and consolidate – that is the Russia of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

In a stark warning, Mr Wallace said that this “motto [Russia and Ukraine are one] of the tsars for the Russian Empire” had “far deeper consequences for the security of Eastern Europe, because it doesn’t stop at Ukraine”.

He likened Mr Putin’s further ambitions to “ethnonationalism”, cautioning that “in our history of Europe, ethnonationalism has led to some of the worst conflicts in the last millennium”.

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Mr Wallace spoke to The Telegraph as part of a whistle-stop tour of Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo this week in a bid to show solidarity with Nordic countries….

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“Countries like Sweden and Finland are genuinely worried about the current behaviour of Russia and the consequences of an invasion of Ukraine,” he said.