UK & World News

  • 6 June 2014, 7:32

Cameron 'Firm' With Putin In Ukraine Talks

David Cameron has told Russian president Vladimir Putin the current situation in Ukraine is "not acceptable".

The Prime Minister said he gave Mr Putin a "very clear and firm set of messages" about the crisis in the former Soviet country.

His meeting with the Russian leader in Paris came after relations between Russia and the UK declined as a result of the situation in Ukraine, which the West believes has been aggravated by the federation.

Mr Putin was earlier excluded from a meeting between the leaders of seven of the world's richest countries, the G7.

Until the Ukraine crisis flared up, Russia had been included in the group, which was then called the G8.

The Prime Minister said: "This was a meeting with a very clear and firm set of messages, which is that there is an opportunity for a successful, peaceful and stable Ukraine especially now there's been a presidential election.

"But the status quo, the situation today, is not acceptable and it needs to change."

"It needs the Russians to properly recognise and work with the new president. It needs de-escalation. We need to stop arms and people crossing the border.

"We need action on those fronts but if that happens there is a diplomatic path that is open."

Earlier at a joint news conference with US president Barack Obama, Mr Cameron had said Moscow needed to recognise the election of new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, stop the flow of arms across the border and cease support for pro-Russian separatist groups.

The G7leaders issued a warning on Wednesday that they were ready to impose damaging economic sanctions on Russia on top of the asset freezes and travel bans already in place.

Video footage of the meeting showed what looked like a tense discussion at which Mr Cameron appeared to do most of the talking and Mr Putinnodded repeatedly but looked away as the Prime Minister's words were translated to him.

Sky's Diplomatic Editor Tim Marshall said: "What they say afterwards and what they say during the meeting can be two completely different things.

"I'm sure that the Prime Minister did say to the President and express Britain and the EU's views on what's happened recently in Ukraine ... but does Mr Putin look bothered? Not very much. Who's in a position of strength here?

"This is actually about showmanship because, with the crisis, the heat's coming out of it. Both sides have signalled we'll agree to disagree."

Both leaders will take part in Friday's commemorations of the D-Day landings in northern France.

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