Sir Jim Paice calls for ‘the toughest possible sanctions’ against Russia after their move into Ukraine

PUBLISHED: 12:13 05 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:13 05 March 2014

James Paice

James Paice

Archant

MP Sir Jim Paice has called for “the toughest possible sanctions” against Russia following their deployment of vast numbers of troops into part of Ukraine.

The MP for SE Cambs was speaking during a Commons debate on Tuesday during questions to foreign secretary William Hague.

“Should we not look back at the lessons of the past couple of decades?” said Sir Jim. “The current Russian leadership is clearly not worried about its international obligations or treaties.

“As we have heard, it invaded and still occupies a part of Georgia; after a few diplomatic rumblings around the world, everything went back to normal. That gave the Russians the impression they can go on doing that with impunity, which is exactly what they have done.”

He urged Mr Hague “to push for the toughest possible economic sanctions, particularly at Thursday’s European Council. That is the only lesson the Russians will learn. Otherwise, we will see the same happen over and over again. It is not surprising that former Soviet Union countries are worried.”

Mr Hague said Sir Jim “makes his point well. That is why it is important that there are costs and consequences for what has occurred.

“I cannot add to what I said earlier on measures we can take and how they must be well judged and well targeted, but Russia’s action will lead, over the coming years, to European nations assessing their interests differently.

“It will have long-term consequences for Russia’s relationship with the rest of Europe. That should be of concern to the Russians, whatever measures we can take in the short term.”

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