Andrew Rosindell – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Andrew Rosindell on 2014-04-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives from the European Commission on European sanctions on Russia.

Mr David Lidington

As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) told the House on 8 April, we are gravely concerned about the situation in Crimea and in the east of Ukraine. We have consistently condemned Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea including in public statements, international fora, and in bilateral contacts with the Russian Federation.

The UK has played a key role in ensuring a tough and united response from the international community. We have reviewed all bilateral engagement with Russia and have frozen military cooperation, refused export licence requests which may be used by the Russian military, and postponed a number of planned Ministerial Summits. Along with other G7 members, the UK has withdrawn participation in the planned G8 Summit in Sochi in June, and will instead take part in a G7 meeting in Brussels.

The Foreign Secretary has taken part in a number of discussions on sanctions at the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), in which the European Commission has also been involved. On 14 April, the FAC agreed to expand the second tier of sanctions and to add further names to the list of individuals subject to those sanctions. The FAC agreed on the urgency of completing work on a possible third tier of more far reaching sanctions, which might be implemented in the absence of meaningful diplomatic engagement by Russia or further provocation against Ukraine. The European Commission was tasked to identify such economic measures.

As the Foreign Secretary has made clear to the Russian Foreign Minister, the EU remains prepared to impose additional sanctions should that become necessary. Russia should be clear that any deliberate escalation of this crisis may bring serious political and economic consequences.