Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2014-09-16-Speech-2-020-000"
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"Mr President, amongst the long list of foreign policy failures and contradictions in the last few years, including of course the bombing of Libya and the desire to arm the rebels in Syria, has been the unnecessary provocation of Vladimir Putin. This EU empire, ever seeking to expand, stated its territorial claim on the Ukraine some years ago. Just to make that worse, some NATO members said they would like the Ukraine to join NATO. We directly encouraged the uprising in the Ukraine that led to the toppling of President Yanukovych; that led in turn to Vladimir Putin reacting; and the moral of the story is: if you poke the Russian bear with a stick, do not be surprised when he reacts. Now just to continue with that, today we are rushing through, at undue speed, an Association Agreement with the Ukraine, and as we speak there are NATO soldiers engaged in military exercises in the Ukraine. Have we taken leave of our senses? Do we actually want to have a war with Putin? Because if we do, we are certainly going about it the right way. Perhaps we ought to recognise that the West now faces the biggest threat and crisis to our way of life that we have seen for over 70 years. The recent beheadings of the British and American hostages graphically illustrates the problem, and we have our citizens from our own countries engaged in that struggle too. In the war against Islamic extremism, Vladimir Putin, whatever we may think of him as a human being, is actually on our side. I suggest we grow up. I suggest we recognise the real threat facing all of our countries, communities and societies, stop playing war games in the Ukraine and start to prepare a plan to help countries like Syria, Iraq, Kenya, and indeed Nigeria, to try and help them to deal with the real threat that faces us. Let us not go on provoking Putin, whether we like him or not."@en1
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