Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “in fact a war criminal” and stressed that the UK “must do its part economically, just as the Ukrainian armed forces do their part militarily. “.
Cameron urged the United States, Britain, European countries and others not to attend the upcoming G20 summit in November in Bali, Indonesia, if Putin is invited and able to attend.
It’s unthinkable, you know, that an American president should sit next to someone who is actually a war criminal. Who indiscriminately bombs and bombs civilians in their homes, schools and hospitals. That should be unthinkable,” he told CNN’s John Berman,
Cameron said the UK must do “everything it can” to help Ukraine outside of military action, including increasing pressure on Russia with sanctions.
“We must also recognize that even if we cannot send our own troops, and even if we cannot operate a no-fly zone for fear of extending this conflict, we must do everything we can,” says Cameron.
Cameron also detailed two occasions during his tenure where he believed President Putin had “outright lied.” He said the international community should “judge [Russia] by their actions. Don’t believe their words.
“I remember one of them lying about the presence of Russian troops in Donbass in 2014,” Cameron said. “Another occasion concerned the fate of the Malaysian airliner MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine.”
A bit of context: Cameron’s remarks come nearly two weeks after US President Joe Biden also called Putin a “war criminal”.
It was the harshest condemnation of Putin’s actions by a US official since the war in Ukraine began on February 24. Previously, Biden had stopped calling documented atrocities on the ground in Ukraine “war crimes,” citing ongoing international and U.S. investigations. .
But on March 16, speaking to reporters at an unrelated event, Biden affixed the designation to the Russian leader, saying, “I think he’s a war criminal.”
However, other Western leaders have been more reluctant in their condemnation of Putin.
In early March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared Russia’s actions in Ukraine to be a “war crime”, but he did not himself call Putin a war criminal.
CNN’s Sam Fossum, Kevin Liptak, Gabby Gretener and Sarah Diab contributed to this post.