British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a joint session of the Australian Parliament in Canberra
IN PHOTO: British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a joint session of the Australian Parliament in Canberra November 14, 2014. Reuters/Stringer

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for businesses in the UK to support sanctions against Russia. He reminded British businesses that the only way to bring back stability in Europe is to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Cameron said he knew that UK companies doing business in Russia were losing out and warned of an extended period of economic sanctions.

He reiterated the belief of the West regarding Mr Putin’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis. The prime minister said the rebels in eastern Ukraine were using Russian rocket launchers and tanks. Those weapons and artillery can only come from one source and cannot be bought online. Mr Cameron called the actions of the Russian president “completely unacceptable,” reports the Telegraph.

The British prime minister’s comments came after Europe and the U.S. had expressed fears over the stability of the ceasefire agreement for Ukraine signed last week. The West has appealed to Russia to scale back its activities.

Britain’s role in the Ukraine crisis has been questioned and in talks with Rolls Royce employees in a West Sussex factory, Mr Cameron said the UK has been “leading” the effort to impose economic sanctions against Russia. He added that other European countries should not give in to the temptation of allowing Russia to resume normal trading due to fears of a drop in domestic trade.

Mr Cameron said the world cannot ignore the situation in Ukraine. The UK does business with Russia but ignoring the conflict will give the impression that one country can challenge the territorial integrity of the other. He said the sanctions will deliver a strong message to Mr Putin that Russia may suffer more financial and economic consequences in the coming years if he does not change his behaviour. According to the Daily Mail, Mr Cameron had urged European leaders in an EU summit in Brussels to stand firm in maintaining sanctions against Russia.

Meanwhile, UK Defence Secretary Micheal Fallon warned of Mr Putin launching a campaign of covert attacks to destabilise the Baltic States on the eastern flank of NATO. He said Russia would use propaganda, infiltration, cyber attacks and undercover personnel to spark ethnic tensions in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania.

Fallon called on NATO to be prepared for whatever form of Russian aggression, reports The Guardian. He believes the Russian president may try to test NATO’s resolve and commitment. According to NATO, the number of Russian military flights in Baltic airspace has increased in 2014. The defence secretary said Russian aggression is “very real and present danger.”

He recalled that British jets were scrambled quickly to respond to two Russian bombers over the English Channel two weeks ago. Fallon said a quick response is important in defence situations.

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