الأحد , مايو 16 2021

Cameron in Russia sanctions warning

Tougher EU sanctions against Russia will be needed if Moscow does not change its “approach” to the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, David Cameron has indicated.

Amid claims Russia-backed rebels were involved, the prime minister said the EU should stand up for its principles.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said it may be “time to make our power, influence and resources count”.

He said many European countries seemed reluctant to “face up” to Russia.

Separately, the new Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned Vladimir Putin to “get out of east Ukraine”. accusing Russia of “sponsored terrorism”.

He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘We have to make it very clear if there is any more interference like this – and it turns out he was behind it – there will be repercussions. He has to be clear the West will act.”

Ten Britons were among the 298 people to have died when the Boeing 777 was downed on Thursday over eastern Ukraine.

On Saturday, Downing Street announced an agreement between the UK and Australia, which accounted for 27 of the dead.

Mr Cameron and his counterpart Tony Abbott agreed the two countries would apply “further pressure” at the UN Security Council “for swift and unhindered access to the crash site”.

He also spoke to Dutch PM Mark Rutte about the crash in which 193 Dutch nationals died. They “agreed that the EU will need to reconsider its approach to Russia in light of evidence that pro-Russian separatists brought down the plane”, Downing Street said.

‘Moment of outrage’

In the Sunday Times, Mr Cameron said the UK was not seeking confrontation with President Vladimir Putin or suggesting military action.

He said: “Russia can use this moment to find a path out of this festering, dangerous crisis. I hope it will do so. But if that does not happen then we must respond robustly.”

He wrote: “We must establish the full facts of what happened. But the growing weight of evidence points to a clear conclusion: That MH17 was blown out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile fired from a rebel-held area.

“If it is the case, then we must be clear what it means: This is a direct result of Russia destabilising a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias and training and arming them. We must turn this moment of outrage into a moment of action.”

Mr Cameron said “if President Putin does not change his approach on Ukraine, then Europe and the West must fundamentally change our approach to Russia”.

Mr Cameron and Mr Putin last met in Paris in June

Mr Cameron said Russia must make available to investigators any information it has about the crash as well as halting supplies and training for the rebels.

He added: “We must establish proper long-term relationships between Ukraine and the European Union; between Ukraine and Russia; and, above all, between Russia and the European Union, Nato and the wider West.”

Economic sanctions?

The US and EU brought in sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis and these were increased shortly before the plane was downed.

BBC News political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said Mr Cameron’s comments are likely to lead to more pressure for tougher sanctions including travel bans on individuals and the freezing of assets.

But a source did not rule out the idea of economic sanctions, our correspondent said.

Among the 10 Britons believed to have died in the crash were (clockwise from top left): John Alder, John Allen, Robert Ayley, Andrew Hoare, Richard Mayne, Ben Pocock, Liam Sweeney and Glenn Thomas

All 10 British victims believed to have been on board have now been identified.

Six UK air accident investigators have been sent to the region and experts from the Metropolitan Police are due to arrive in Ukraine on Sunday to assist with identifying and recovering the bodies of those killed.

The final victim to be identified is understood to be former RAF search and rescue co-ordinator Stephen Anderson, 44.

One of the British victims – John Allen, 44 – died alongside his wife Sandra and sons Christopher, Julian and Ian – who are listed in the passenger list as having Dutch nationality – his law firm announced.

Fifty-nine-year-old Andrew Hoare, who worked in banking, also died in the crash with his Dutch wife and two children, aged 14 and 12.

The families are believed to have died along with Britons Robert Ayley, John Alder, Liam Sweeney, Glenn Thomas, Richard Mayne, Ben Pocock, and Cameron Dalziel, who was born in Zimbabwe but travelling on a British passport.

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