Britain to push for 'tougher sanctions' against Russia

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 19, 2014
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British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday he will push for tougher EU sanctions against Russia at a forthcoming European leaders' meeting.

"I will push European leaders to agree further EU measures when we meet on Thursday," Cameron said in a statement, warning that "Russia will face more serious consequences."

His remarks came after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty to make Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of Russian territory earlier on Tuesday.

"The steps taken by President Putin today to attempt to annex Crimea to Russia are in flagrant breach of international law and send a chilling message across the continent of Europe," Cameron added.

He said Britain depends on the stability and security of the international order which "relies on a rules based system where those who ignore it face consequences."

He said the choice remains for Russia to take the path of "de-escalation" or face "increasing isolation and tighter sanctions."

On Monday, the EU decided to adopt sanctions, including travel bans and assets freeze, against 21 persons, identifying them as "responsible for actions threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity."

The Russia-Crimea treaty came one day after the Crimean parliament declared independence from Ukraine, with some 96.6 percent of the Crimean voters in favor of joining Russia in a referendum held Sunday.

Putin on Monday signed a decree to recognize Crimea as a sovereign and independent state, hours after West countries announced sanctions.

As for Sunday's referendum during which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to join Russia, Putin said Crimea acted under the UN Chapter which declares the right of a nation for self-determination.

Meanwhile, the Russian leader called situation in Ukraine a mirror of what happened in the world after the collapse of the bi-polar system.

He blamed the U.S. exceptionalism and its use of forces against sovereign states ignoring the UN and the UN Security Council.

"They brought no democracy and freedom but chaos and violence ... We were cheated repeatedly by the West," he said.

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