WORKINGTON peer Lord Dale Campbell Savours has offered an alternative solution to the war in Ukraine after Russian troops invaded the country last Thursday.

Lord Campbell Savours offered his thoughts on an 'alternative way forward' for Europe which may offer 'a glimmer of hope' for the country as the war moves into its seventh day today.

The war has reportedly caused many casualties on both sides since it began with Russian troops continuing to make their way through the country, despite the best efforts of Ukranian fighters.

Lord Campbell Savours spoke to the Lords on Friday, describing the war in the Ukraine, saying that he suspected 'Mr Putin is about to meet his Waterloo.'

As reported in Hansard, the peer said: "My Lords, the unthinkable is happening as this tragedy unfolds. It was the danger of such conflict at the heart of Europe that motivated my three, criticised interventions in our Chamber in recent weeks. I need to make it clear that I am not some peacenik. In the Commons, I supported intervention in the Falklands, and in the case of Iraq, I visited Washington on three occasions to lobby for varying forms of military intervention.

"Moscow has known for weeks that there was no desire in European capitals or Washington for an interventionist military strategy. It was that division within European defence establishments that signalled weakness and lack of resolve. The moment we signalled that division, compromise was inevitable.

"It was with that in mind that I repeatedly called for an alternative solution that offered a way forward. I suggested that we sought to negotiate an agreed-timescale, non-NATO membership Ukraine, along with buffer-state protectorate status under Ukraine sovereignty for Donetsk and Luhansk. Mine has been a lone voice. In my view, at that stage that was the only way forward.

"I believe there is a complete misunderstanding in Europe of the consequences of heaping humiliation on a proud Russian people and a volatile Putin who fears democracy, as the noble Lord, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, said.

"They are a people riddled with insecurity following the loss of 25 million in the Second World War. That loss still breeds insecurity throughout Russia, a factor Russia’s leadership feeds on.

"It has been inevitable since the fall of the Soviet Union that Russia would seek to secure protection from an illusory NATO threat from behind a barrier of buffer states — referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Ricketts — stretching from Finland in the north, through Belarus to Crimea in the south, the only countries excluded from this defensive strategy being Estonia and Latvia, which, strategically and militarily, are of little consequence.

"While all these developments have been taking place in recent years, Russia has constructed a new trading relationship with China while concentrating its western trade on oil supply, knowing the theatre: the greater the dependence, the less likelihood of obstruction of its foreign policy aims. The strategy could be said to have worked. We are now paying the price for our misplaced trust and naivety.

"However, that is all in the past. Where do we go from here? We should proceed with caution. Putin is seeking to put in place a puppet regime. We should avoid precipitate action and plan, but not yet implement, much of the programme of penalties proposed in yesterday’s Statement to Parliament, which I support.

"We need to give Putin’s people time to reflect and consider the potential response of their own people to international condemnation. While Russia is perfectly capable of withstanding unimaginable levels of suffering, common sense may well ultimately prevail among its people, many of whom have a close affinity with people in the West. I do not believe that the Russian people want the indefinite occupation of Ukraine.

"I believe that with the threat of onerous sanctions and with the settlement I have previously outlined—to repeat: no NATO membership for Ukraine and an agreement on sensitive treatment of Russian minorities in the eastern provinces under protectorate status within an independent Ukraine—we might be able to end this confrontation. Like the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Stirrup, I am not convinced that an erratic Putin is trying to rebuild the former Soviet Union of satellite states. He wants buffer states. We all need to understand the internal contradictions, strains and anxieties that hold modern Russia together. Conflict would be a heavy price to pay for us all when an alternative way forward may still offer a glimmer of hope.

In light of recent events, our defence position under a strong NATO has my support. In terms of popular support in Russia, I suspect Mr Putin is about to meet his Waterloo.