AT a scale we have not seen since 1945, Europe is at war.
Not a civil war or a border dispute but the invasion of a sovereign state by a foreign army.
For years, we’ve done nothing – we’ve been wringing our hands while Putin has been wringing necks[/caption]
Vladimir Putin has sent in troops to kill Ukrainians and take control of the country.
His excuse — that Nato threatens him — is a lie. In 2002, he agreed to Ukraine joining the alliance.
Since then, Nato has helped train Kyiv’s army but nothing more.
We built Nato for moments like this.
Our grandparents fought for our freedom and knew the terrible price of war.
They created these alliances to make sure we wouldn’t have to.
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THE SUN SAYS
We must dig deep to beat Vladimir Putin, the Hitler of our age
THE SUN SAYS
Boris must lead a full tilt charge at the wealth of Putin and his cronies now
We must finish Putin because if we don't act soon, Ukraine's only the start
Yes, we will kick Putin's a*** – the tyrannical dictator has no allies
THE SUN SAYS
Sanctions on Russia go nowhere near far enough to deter Putin's land grab
If we were all half the person Jamal Edwards was the world would be better
They wrote the rules so any free democracy could join.
That is what sovereignty means: The right to choose your own friends and allies.
Putin and his band of thieves don’t believe in freedom but in slavery.
There isn’t a government in the Kremlin but a mafia.
He’s not running an administration but a protection racket.
His first victims are the Russian people themselves.
He has murdered hundreds and robbed millions.
The wealth of a great nation has been ferreted abroad and hidden in a web of fraud.
Kids are being educated in our private schools with money that should be paying for education in Moscow’s state schools.
Their private shopping trips are using cash that should go on public health.
This has cost the Russian people already.
Now he’s trying these tactics abroad. He’s trying to turn Ukraine into a puppet state.
But Ukrainians want freedom.
And civilians are paying the price for his war.
Families are hiding in basements trying to protect themselves from rockets.
Children are living in fear and families are being torn apart as lives are ruined.
Even here in Britain, we are beginning to feel the cost.
Petrol is going up and that is driving up the cost of everything we need.
It’s going to get worse.
Now that Ukraine’s wheat fields are being ploughed by tanks not tractors, the price of bread, and everything else, will surge too.
PAYING PRICE FOR HIS WAR
We are already paying for the war in Ukraine and the price is going to get higher.
If Putin succeeds, others will see that the rule of law is less important than the rule of force.
None of this needed to happen.
We have missed many moments to act and show clearly that we are serious.
In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia. Nothing changed. In 2014, Russia attacked Ukraine and captured Crimea. Nothing happened.
Since then he has attacked an ammunition depot in Prague; tried to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro, and even used chemical weapons in Salisbury, killing a British woman. Still, zero.
Every time, we have talked a good game but fielded nothing.
Even today, as sanctions are being discussed in Brussels and London, some are arguing to exclude industries that matter to them.
Italy wants to leave out luxury goods and railways. Belgium wants to trade diamonds.
And in Britain? There’s so much more we can do.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Monday’s sanctions were nothing, and the Russians knew it.
We can’t wait to align with others and we shouldn’t use others as an excuse.
Now we’ve left the EU, we have an independent sanctions regime and the freedom to use it.
More importantly, it’s our banks, our homes and our schools where Moscow’s gold is hidden and spent.
London is the home of corrupt Russian money, not Paris or Berlin.
It’s up to us to stop it.
For years, we’ve done nothing. We’ve been wringing our hands while Putin has been wringing necks.
Enough is enough.
The Government could announce some real action.
After the act of unprovoked war on Ukraine, we could freeze all Russian assets in the UK and expel all Russian citizens, except those claiming political asylum.
We could act now to defend ourselves from Putin’s placemen.
And we could call out the traitors who take money to spout Putin’s propaganda.
We need action.
With emergency legislation to protect us from spying, register those working for foreign governments and identify secret assets, we would be making progress.
If we sit aside and wait, we encourage worse.
Speaking to friends in Nato, it is clear what is coming if we fail.
Russia’s cyber attacks won’t end and its military build-up won’t ease unless we make it clear we stand together against this tyrant.
The scenes in Ukraine are heart-breaking. We don’t want them echoed elsewhere.
And we don’t need to.
Britain’s superpower is our ability to build alliances and work with partners.
We pull together free people and create the glue that binds us.
We can do that again.
Investing more in our Army, Navy and Air Force, building up our embassies, we can build the partnerships to defend a free world.
It won’t come cheap . . . but war will cost us all a lot more.
Tom Tugendhat is a Tory MP & Chairman, Foreign Affairs Select Committee[/caption]