David Cameron: Britain could take Russia sanctions to ‘whole different level’ …David Cameron says that Russia has ‘ripped up’ the rule book and must be punished if it makes further incursions into Ukraine
Britain is prepared to take sanctions against Russia to a “whole different level” if Russian aggression intensifies in Ukraine, David Cameron has said.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Mr Cameron said that Russia has “ripped up” the rule book and can’t expect to still have access to international markets and finance.
He said that the West must be prepared to “settle in for a long and determined position” against Russia and that further incursions into Ukraine should be punished.
He said: “If Russia is going to rip up the rule book of the 21st century and destabilise a sovereign country, then the rest of the world should be prepared to say to Russia, ‘Well you can’t rip up one part of the international rule book while still having access to international markets, international finance, international systems.”
Mr Cameron also addressed his commitment to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2017.
He said that while he believes the “right answer” is for Britain to remain in the European Union, he accepts that the country may vote to leave. He said: ““You can’t stay in an organisation if your employer, the British public, doesn’t consent to it.”
The Prime Minister said that the government’s attempts to reduce immigration from outside the European Union had an impact, but “not as big an effect as I would like”.
On the continuing tensions in Ukraine, Mr Cameron said that leaders have agreed to implement tougher sanctions against Russia is the ceasefire fails.
Violence has continued to flare across Ukraine despite the ceasefire, which was agreed last month.
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, met with Pavlo Kimkin, his Ukrainian counterpart in Kiev. He said that EU nations and the United States should “stand together” in pressing Russia to ensure “full implementation” of the ceasefire deal.
The Prime Minister also defended Britain’s security services amid growing questions over why they had failed to apprehend Jihadi John, the British terrorist unmasked as Mohammed Emwazi. He had been on the radar of the intelligence services since 2009.
He said: “I’m not going to give a running commentary on an individual case where we’re in the middle of very hard work with our partners to find and put out of action these sorts of individuals and groups.” But, in general, “there’s always more that can be done.”
He raised concerns about the ability of the security services to intercept communications on new technology. He said: “We should not allow safe spaces — havens — for people to communicate and so we have to, as technology advances, we have to advance our legislation so that we don’t give safe spaces.”