Sir Peter Tapsell has said that is the European Union contiues to expand towards the east it could lead to World War Three.
The Louth and Horncastle MP was speaking in the House of Commons about the crisis in Ukraine.
He said: “May I put it to the Foreign Secretary that Brussels is partly to blame for this Ukrainian crisis? If the already over-enlarged European Union is going to continue to try to extend its borders towards Mongolia, we will indeed finish up with a Third World War.
“Every Russian knows that the capture of Crimea and Sevastopol was the greatest achievement of Catherine the Great — that is why she is called ‘Great’ — and Potemkin. No Russian Government of whatever political complexion could ever give up Crimea or Sevastopol, and we can be absolutely certain that the Russian people are passionately in support of President Putin over this issue.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague responded: “I differ with my right honourable friend a little bit on this. Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 and followed that in the 1990s with a series of specific agreements, including the Budapest memorandum and the 1997 agreement on the Black sea bases, in which it forswore the use of armed force or intrusion on to the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia chose to do that and it must honour its international obligations.
“I assure my right honourable friend that it is not the ambition of the EU, or of the UK for the EU, to extend its borders to Mongolia.
“What we are talking about is not Ukrainian membership of the European Union, but free trade; a free trade agreement — an association agreement — between the EU and a country that freely chose to enter into negotiations about it. It should not be possible for any other country to have a veto over any nation choosing to do that.”
The Foreign Secretary also said: “The UK’s national interest lies in a free, democratic, unified, stable and peaceful Ukraine able to make its own decisions about its future.”