"We should hang our heads in shame," UKIP's Nigel Farage blasted during last week's debate with Britain's Deputy PM Nick Clegg, adding that it was the British government that had encouraged the EU to pursue "imperialist, expansionist" ambitions in Ukraine. Clegg's comments on how the EU had turned "fascist dictatorships" in eastern Europe into democracies were met with derision from Farage who exclaimed, "we’ve given a false series of hopes to a group of people in western Ukraine and so geed up were they that they, actually, toppled their own elected leader."
When the debate touched upon events in Ukraine, Clegg said that he was proud of the EU for reaching out to ex-Communist states in Eastern Europe and former “fascist dictatorships” on the Mediterranean.
Those states only managed to turn into “democracies because they became part of the family of nations within the EU,” Clegg said.
But Farage responded with a completely opposite stance toward the armed coup that ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich in late February.
“We should hang our heads in shame,” Farage said, adding that it was the British government that had encouraged the EU to pursue “imperialist, expansionist” ambitions in Ukraine.
"We’ve given a false series of hopes to a group of people in western Ukraine and so geed up were they that they, actually, toppled their own elected leader," he said.
With over 100 people killed during the Maidan standoff in Kiev, the European Union “does have blood on its hands” over Ukraine, Farage said.
“I don’t want a European army, navy, air force or a European foreign policy. It has not been a thing for good in the Ukraine,” he said.
Farage won the debate; but...
The deputy PM accepted defeat as he appeared on LBC’s weekly phone-in Friday morning, but hurried to make up for it by attacking Farage over his remarks on Ukraine.
Clegg said he was “extraordinarily surprised, if not shocked” to hear the claim that the EU was responsible for the bloodshed in Ukraine.
“To suggest that somehow it is the EU's fault that the Ukrainian people rose up, as many did on the streets of Kiev, against their government seeking to claim greater democracy, greater freedom, is such a perverse way of looking at things,” he said.
Clegg said the UKIP leader’s words showed “quite how extreme people can be… when their loathing of the EU becomes so all-consuming that they even end up siding with Vladimir Putin in order to make their point.”
Clegg promised that he would raise Ukraine again in his second televised debate with Farage, due to take place next week.
We look forward to Nigel Farage's rebuttal to the status quo vigilantism once again...