Former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says as far as he’s concerned Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a good guy”.
“He’s never done anything that I would feel he’s not the right guy to be talking to,” Mr Ecclestone told Sky News Australia host Piers Morgan in a wide-ranging interview.
Mr Ecclestone’s comments come after he recently told Good Morning Britain during an interview he would “take a bullet” for Putin.
Mr Morgan responded to Mr Ecclestone’s claims about the Russian President.
“I think the problem that people have with your comments today Bernie is that they are highly inflammatory given that Putin is currently waging a monstrous, illegal war in Ukraine,” Mr Morgan said.
“Slaughtering thousands of innocent people who are literally getting a bullet from Vladimir Putin.”
Mr Ecclestone replied by saying, “I think that’s terrible”.
“I’m not trying to defend him in any shape or form because what’s actually happened is quite terrible – simple as that.
“It should have never, ever, ever happened.”
Mr Ecclestone noted, “I think when all this started, it wasn’t what he thought was going to happen and I think he thought it was going to be a four-day sort of threat, and then big discussions and they’d get things sorted out.
“I don’t think he believed what is happening would happen.”
However, Mr Ecclestone said he doesn’t “regret” his stance on Putin.
“I don’t regret my feeling for him that he’s not the person that he’s been portrayed.”
“In fact, in fairness, nobody’s portraying him at all.”