Russia could face further sanctions if it does not commit to resolving the conflict in Ukraine, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, as he called Moscow’s actions “unacceptable”.
Cameron, who was in Canberra to address Australia’s parliament, said existing sanctions imposed by the West were having an impact on Russia’s economy.
The West’s relations with the Kremlin have become more tense since the downing of Flight MH17 over territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in July, killing 298 passengers and crew.
European nations, the United States and Australia are among countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia for what they see as Moscow’s desire to redraw modern Europe’s borders.
Russia Thursday refuted the West’s claims that it has been sending fresh military hardware into eastern Ukraine, which could fuel a return to all-out conflict.
Pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since April in a war which has claimed more than 4,000 lives and driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Kremlin’s increasing military assertiveness — including the appearance of four Russian navy ships off his country’s north coast ahead of the G20 — was “part of a regrettable pattern”.
Putin is set to arrive in Brisbane later Friday, with Abbott’s latest remarks coming after a highly anticipated exchange between the two leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing earlier this week.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday the European Union was not planning new sanctions against Russia over the recent spike in violence in Ukraine.
Merkel reiterated that EU member states were considering adding pro-Russian separatists to existing sanction lists imposed on Moscow, but added that “beyond that, further economic sanctions are not planned at the moment.”