Ukraine crisis: David Cameron attacks Crimea vote 'under barrel of a Kalashnikov'

 

David Cameron warned Russia today that it faces international isolation and tighter sanctions unless Moscow takes steps to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.

At a press conference following the summit in Brussels Mr Cameron said: "Our message to Russia is clear: choose the path to diplomacy and de-escalation or face increasing isolation and tighter and tighter sanctions."

He condemned the "sham and illegal referendum" in Crimea, which "has taken place at the barrel of a Kalashnikov"."Russia has sought to annex Crimea," he said. "This is a flagrant breach of international law and something we will not recognise. This behaviour belongs to the Europe of the last century not this one. It cannot be ignored or we risk more serious problems in the future.

"So it was very important that the European democracies represented here should send a strong and united message that Russia should face further consequences, and that is what we have done.

"We have subjected 12 more individuals to travel bans and asset freezes, bringing the total to 33. We have cancelled the EU-Russia summit, agreed not to hold bilateral summits and we'll block Russian membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Energy Agency.

"We have agreed to rapidly implement economic, trade and financial restrictions on occupied Crimea. We will only accept Crimean goods in the EU if they come from the Ukraine and not Russia."

His comments came after the European Union added to the pressure on Vladimir Putin over Russia's Crimea takeover, with leaders talking late into last night to agree sanctions against 12 members of the President's inner circle.

The 28 leaders also agreed that the European Commission should draw up a set of "wide-ranging" measures targeting Russia's economy which could be put into effect if Moscow escalates the crisis further.

The action comes as the Russian parliament's upper house unanimously endorsed the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and a day after US President Barack Obama unleashed stronger sanctions against a long list of Putin's close associates, including his chief of staff and his personal banker. Obama also pledged that Russia’s key oil and energy sectors would be targeted next if it goes any further into Ukraine.

Russia responded with sanctions of its own against American lawmakers, including travel bans against former presidential nominee John McCain and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner.

But Putin today suggested there would be no more retaliation from Russia. During televised remarks at Friday's session of the presidential Security Council, he said: "We must refrain from retaliatory steps for now."

Russian pposition leader Alexey Navalny - a former candidate for Moscow mayor - said there should also be Western sanctions against Russian oligarchs who have made a home in the West, like Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

He wrote in the New York Times: "Real sanctions, such as blocking access to their plush London apartments, will show that Mr Putin's folly comes with serious costs."

The EU is today expected to sign elements of a trade deal with Ukraine, similar to the one which former president Victor Yanukovych pulled out of in November, precipitating violent unrest, his deposition and eventually Russia's moves on Crimea.

Herman van Rompuy, European Council president, announced the decision to extend sanctions against Russian officials and politicians beyond the 21 subjected to travel bans and asset freezes earlier this week, and said that a planned EU-Russia summit in June had been cancelled.

He said: "Russia's annexation of Crimea and of Sevastopol is a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and of international law.

"We strongly condemn the unconstitutional referendum in Crimea. We will not recognise the annexation, nor will we recognise it in the future."

Russian soldiers patrol the area surrounding the Ukrainian military unit in Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol Russian soldiers patrol the area surrounding the Ukrainian military unit in Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol .

The blacklist of 20 individuals unveiled by Mr Obama in Washington also included prominent businessman Gennady Timchenko and billionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who were judo sparring partners of the Russian president, as well as Mr Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and Russian Railways chairman Vladimir Yakunin.

Mr Obama is due to meet other G7 states - the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan - to discuss Ukraine on the margins of a nuclear security summit in the Netherlands next week, when proposals to eject Russia from the wider G8 group of world powers will be discussed.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Russia’s credit rating outlook from stable to negative, saying the economy is threatened by the sanctions.

S&P affirmed Russia’s ranking at BBB, the second-lowest investment grade, on par with Brazil, South Africa and Italy. The rating company said “heightened geopolitical risk” could accelerate capital flight and weaken the economy further.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Chosen to lead the women's wing of the ruling Zanu-PF, the wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding the 90-year old
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution