By Biodun Busari
Former Chief Executive of the Formula One Group, Bernie Ecclestone has defended Russian President, Vladimir Putin over the invasion of the military forces to neighbouring Ukarine.
Russia, the world’s largest country invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014.
The invasion caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II with more than eight million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced.
Reacting to the war, 91-year-old British business magnate said Putin is right about the war, and he would “take a bullet” for him.
Ecclestone disclosed this while appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning as he also blamed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for failing to dialogue with his counterpart.
“(I) believed he was doing the right thing for Russia,” Ecclestone said.
“Unfortunately he’s like a lot of business people, certainly like me, that we make mistakes from time to time and when you make the mistake, you have to do the best you can to get out of it.
“The other person in Ukraine, his profession I understand, used to be a comedian – and I think it seems that he wants to continue that profession.
“I think if he’d thought about things, he would definitely have made a big enough effort to speak to Putin, who is a sensible person, and would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it.”
When it was pointed out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had led to thousands of innocent people, Ecclestone simply replied: “It wasn’t intentional.”
He continued: “One country invaded another, it is very clever to be able to work that out because that is exactly what happened but it wasn’t intentional to be a war.
“I’m quite sure Ukraine, if they’d wanted to get out of it properly, could have done.”
Meanwhile, Formula 1, in a statement, has distanced itself from the remarks.
The statement reads: “The comments made by Bernie Ecclestone are his personal views and are in very stark contrast to position of the modern values of our sport.”