British Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared the invasion of Ukraine by Russia to the U.K.â€™s decision to leave the European Union in 2016.
He argued both examples showed countriesâ€™ willingness to fight for their freedom.
â€œI know that itâ€™s the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom every time,â€ Johnson said at the Conservative Party Conference Saturday.
â€œWhen the British people voted forÂ BrexitÂ in such large numbers, I donâ€™t believe it was that they were remotely hostile to foreigners,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s because they wanted to be free to do things differently and for this country to be able to run itself.â€
Johnson reiterated the U.K.â€™s support to the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russiaâ€™s aggression. He said the economic sanctions taken against Russia have a â€œcostâ€ but that â€œthe cost of doing nothing would be far, far higher.â€
The prime minister also said â€œit is the invincible strength of this country that we believe, by and large and within the law, that people should be able to do whatever they want providing they donâ€™t do harm to anyone else. Thatâ€™s called freedom.â€
The prime minister suggested that the U.K.â€™s freedom was appealing to people escaping the war in Ukraine or political oppression in Russia. â€œWe just want to be free, and thatâ€™s why talented people are fleeing Russia right now,â€ he said.
â€œThatâ€™s Putinâ€™s tragedy. Thereâ€™s a sense in which his disastrous error in Ukraine is itself an argument for democracy and freedom.â€