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Britain's Cameron warns Russia of isolation, further sanctions over Ukraine

Reuters , Sunday 16 Nov 2014
Ground staff watch Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) walking towards his plane at Brisbane Airport to leave the G20 Leaders' Summit early in this November 16 (Photo: Reuters)

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday that Europe and the United States had sent a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country will be isolated from the world community if the crisis in Ukraine is not resolved.

"I think that Russia needs to know that there is a real unity of purpose between America and the European Union in making sure we don't have some sort of permanent frozen conflict on the continent of Europe," Cameron told reporters at the G20 summit in Brisbane. "If that is to happen, I don't believe the relationship between Russia on the one hand and Britain and Europe and America on the other hand can be the same."

Cameron warned that the geopolitical risks of an ongoing conflict in Ukraine outweighed the risks of further economic sanctions. Putin came in for strong criticism from several leaders at the G20 summit over Russia's backing of pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, where a conflict has killed more than 4,000 people this year.

"I hope that even at this late stage, President Putin takes a different path," Cameron said, adding that the Russian leader "can see that he's at a crossroads."

Cameron also said Iran must "demonstrate that it is not taking the military nuclear path" for sanctions to be lifted against that Middle Eastern country.

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