UK suspends military cooperation with Russia: Hague

UK suspends military cooperation with Russia: Hague
Tue Mar 18, 2014 19:02:38

Britain will suspend all bilateral military cooperation with Russia after it signed a treaty making Crimea a Russian territory, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

"We have suspended all such cooperation," Hague told parliament, saying a technical cooperation agreement and joint naval exercises with Russia, France, Britain and the United States had been put on hold.

The foreign secretary told MPs this "land grab" was illegal and the UK was suspending all defense export licenses and military co-operation with Moscow.

Further action against Russia, such as economic and trade sanctions, were now being considered by the EU, he added.

The "international order" is at stake in the crisis in Ukraine, Hague claimed following Crimea referendum.

French President Francois Hollande also called Tuesday for a "strong and coordinated" EU response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, which he said Paris did not recognize.

"The next European Council on March 20 and 21 must provide the opportunity for a strong and coordinated European response to the new step that has just been taken," he said in a statement.

However Putin said Crimea "has always been an integral part of Russia".

Moscow has suggested that it is protecting the rights of Russian-speaking people in Crimea following the change in government in Ukraine last month and after a referendum on Sunday recorded 96% support for the region to join Russia.


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