Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to CNN on March 30 (CNN)
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “in fact a war criminal” and stressed that Britain “must do our best economically, just as the Ukrainian armed forces do their military.”
Cameron called on the US, UK, European and other countries not to attend the upcoming G20 summit in November in Bali, Indonesia, if Putin is invited and able to attend.
It is inconceivable that an American president would have to sit next to someone who is actually a war criminal. Who blindly bomb and shell civilians in their homes, schools and hospitals. It should be unthinkable, “he told CNN’s John Berman,
Cameron said Britain must do “everything we can” to help Ukraine beyond military action, including increasing pressure on Russia with sanctions.
“We also need to realize that while we cannot field our own troops, and while we cannot operate in a no-fly zone for fear of spreading this conflict, we must do everything we can.” Cameron said.
Cameron also described two incidents during his tenure as President Putin “outright lied”. He said the international community should “judge” [Russia] by their deeds. Don’t take their word for it.
“I remember one of them lied about the presence of Russian troops in Donbas in 2014,” said Cameron. “Another occasion was the fate of the Malaysian MH17 airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.”
A bit of background: Cameron’s remarks came almost two weeks after US President Joe Biden also called Putin a “war criminal.”
It was the harshest condemnation of Putin’s actions by any American official since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine on February 24. Earlier, Biden had stopped calling the atrocities documented on the spot in Ukraine “war crimes”, citing ongoing international and American investigations. .
But on March 16, speaking to reporters at an unrelated event, Biden put a tag on the Russian leader saying, “I think he is a war criminal.”
However, other Western leaders condemned Putin more cautiously.
In early March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russia’s actions in Ukraine qualify as “a war crime,” but Putin himself did not call a war criminal.
CNN’s Fossum himself, Kevin Liptak, Gabby Gretener, and Sarah Diab contributed to this post.