Sunday 28 August 2016

Russia has become 'global pariah' over Ukraine crisis

Published 10/09/2014 | 13:49

British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the Vladmir Putin and the Russian leadership had 'blood on its hands' over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July. Photo: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the Vladmir Putin and the Russian leadership had 'blood on its hands' over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July. Photo: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Russia has slammed the door on friendship with the global community and opted to become a pariah state, Philip Hammond said today in a major Commons debate on international security.

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The Foreign Secretary condemned Russian action to annex Crimea and de-stabilise eastern Ukraine.

And he told MPs the Russian leadership had "blood on its hands" over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July.

Speaking at the start of a debate on Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security, Mr Hammond said: "For more than two decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West has opened the door to Russia and sought to draw her into the international rules-based system, offering partnership, trade, investment and openness.

"By its illegal annexation of Crimea and its aggressive destabilisation of Ukraine, the Russian leadership has slammed that door shut. It has chosen the role of pariah rather than partner and in doing so it has undermined the long-term security architecture."

Mr Hammond said it was "undeniable" Russia was responsible for the instability, despite constant obfuscation from Moscow and the use of un-badged irregular forces.

And he told the Commons: "On July 17, the irresponsibility of Russia's behaviour reached its terrible apotheosis with the shooting down from separatist-controlled territory, with a Russian ground-to-air missile, of flight MH17 with the loss of 298 totally innocent lives.

"Their blood is on the hands of Russia's leadership."

Mr Hammond said there had to be a political solution to the crisis because there was not a military way out.

And he said the West must use its much bigger and much stronger economies to deploy powerful sanctions on Russia.

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