Tuesday, August 12, 2008

David Cameron calls for action against Russia over Georgia invasion

David Cameron has urged the Government to consider punishing Russia more severely following its invasion of Georgia. 

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor
Last Updated: 12:11PM BST 12 Aug 2008

The Conservative leader condemned the behaviour of the Russians saying it was “completely unacceptable” and had “worrying echoes with the darkest chapters of European history”. 

He called on the Government to consider tougher visa restrictions on Russian nationals travelling to the UK, particularly those associated with the current crisis, and suspension of Russia’s membership of the G8. 

Mr Cameron also said that Gordon Brown should immediately summon the Russian ambassador and request an urgent meeting of Nato foreign ministers to discuss Georgia joining the alliance. He insisted he was trying to be constructive in his advice on what the British could do to put pressure on the Russians. 

Speaking at his monthly press conference, the Conservative leader said: “The situation is clear, hundreds have been killed. Russia has used massive and disproportionate force…Countries that want international respect do not attack their neighbours. 

As Russia ordered its troops to halt their advance, Mr Cameron warned that the West's response was critical. 

“History has shown time and time again that if you leave aggression to go unchecked, you only store up graver problems for the future.” 

“Russia says it is fighting in defence of Russian citizens in South Ossetia. Who will they claim to be defending tomorrow? Russians in the Ukraine, Russians in the Baltic states who are already members of the EU and Nato? 

“This is a dangerous doctrine with worrying echoes from the darkest chapters of European history.” 

The Government has faced accusations that it is not doing enough to intervene in the growing crisis with both Mr Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband on holiday. 
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