Ukraine crisis: Russia is deliberately 'violating the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine', says William Hague

The British Foreign Secretary dismissed denials of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine and called for further sanctions against Moscow

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has accused Russia of deliberately destabilising eastern Ukraine.

Speaking on Monday at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxemburg to discuss the crisis, Mr Hague dismissed denials of Russian involvement and called for further sanctions against Moscow.

“There can't really be any real doubt that this is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia,” he said.

“I don't think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility.”

He added that events had all the hallmarks of Russia's actions to seize Crimea from Ukraine: “It has all the appearance of a further gross deliberate, premeditated violation of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

Mr Hague said he would be arguing for the EU to take further measures to sanction Russia for its actions. A so-called “third phase” of EU sanctions is expected to include restrictions on trade and finance with Russia, potentially with wide-reaching repercussions for the Russian and EU economies.

 

Downing Street said David Cameron interrupted his Easter holiday in Lanzarote to discuss the “deteriorating situation in Ukraine” with Mr Hague.

The foreign secretary’s comments came as pro-Russian forces showed little sign of complying with a deadline set by the Ukrainian government, ordering them to disarm and end their occupation of state buildings by 9am (6am GMT) Monday.

Oleksander Turchinov, the acting president of Ukraine, on Sunday warned rebels that a full-scale security operation, including the army, would be unleashed unless they met the deadline.

But according to reports in the flashpoint city of Slovyansk, where armed men have seized two government buildings, there was no outward sign the rebels were complying with the ultimatum.

And in the city of Horlivka at least 100 pro-Russian separatists attacked the police headquarters, a witness told Reuters.

Video footage on Ukrainian television showed an ambulance treating people who were apparently injured during the attack on the main police building in the Donetsk region city, which has a population of around 300,000 people.

Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov on Monday denied Ukrainian and US allegations that Russia had undercover agents fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, and said he was seeking explanation of media reports that the director of the CIA, John Brennan, had visited Kiev.

Speaking at a news conference after meeting his Sudanese counterpart, he said that Ukraine's Russian-speaking eastern regions should be involved in drafting the constitution that should be put to a referendum, mooted by Kiev, on the type of state Ukraine should be.

Lavrov said it was not in Russia's interests for Ukraine to break up, but that Moscow wanted all citizens of the country to be given equal treatment by Kiev.

Additional reporting by agencies

Read more: Deadline passes for pro-Russian separatists to disarm
UK must take Putin's energy threat more seriously
Renewed violence jeopardises EU efforts at crisis resolution
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Sport
Kim Sears is reported to have directed abuse at Berdych
tennis
News
news

Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck

News
Gywneth Paltrow proposed that women seek out a special herbal steam-treatment service
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
Tax now accounts for ‘nearly 80%’ of the price of a bottle of whisky
news

Arts and Entertainment
Peppa Pig wearing her golden boots
film

"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star

Life and Style
tech

Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses

Arts and Entertainment
film
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

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

Recruitment Genius: Regional Gas Installation Manager - South East England

£36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Gas Installation Manager is r...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service and Breakdown Engineer - South East

£29000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Service and Brea...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Manager - Alconbury

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee