Labour leader criticises Putin but favours demilitarisation of European borders with Russia to prevent new cold war
Jeremy Corbyn has suggested he is in favour of reducing Natos presence on eastern Europes borders with Russia and said it was clear the US president-elect, Donald Trump, believed he could improve relations with Vladimir Putin.
The Labour leader said he had many, many criticisms of Putin, the human rights abuses in Russia and the militarisation of society but said current escalation had to be avoided.
I do think there has to be a process that we try and demilitarise the border between what are now the Nato states and Russia so we drive apart those forces, keep them further apart … we cant descend into a new cold war, he told BBC1s Andrew Marr show.
The UK is deploying hundreds of troops as well as aircraft and armour to eastern Europe as part of the biggest buildup of Nato forces in the region amid growing tensions with Russia.
Corbyn said the election of Trump, who has expressed scepticism of Nato, was a reflection of the anger communities felt at being left behind by globalisation, but dismissed the suggestion that only the right was managing to capitalise on that feeling.
Bernie Sanders, the leftwing Democrat defeated by Hillary Clinton in the primaries, could have won the election, he said. There is now a much stronger left movement across the United States and across Europe. Bernie Sanders garnered a very large number of votes, he said. Yes, I think he likely could have won.
The left had become associated with the forces of globalisation during the course of its Obama administration and Labour years in the UK, Corbyn said. Its time to move on from the third way, from the New Labour agenda, an agenda which was essentially an incorporation of that free market, economic thinking, which processed deindustrialisation in Britain, he said.
Corbyn said Trumps reliance on anti-immigrant rhetoric to induce his suit for change had infuriated him, and said he wanted to introduce the president-elect to his wife, Laura Alvarez, who is Mexican.
Im looking forward to the conversation between my wife and Donald Trump, he said. She is a proud Mexican, proud to live here as well, and all of us want to live in a world where we tolerate each other.
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