Russia sanctions 'price worth paying,' says William Hague

William Hague

Damage to the British economy resulting from trade sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis would be a "price worth paying," William Hague has said.

The UK foreign secretary said the EU, US and allies planned further travel bans and asset freezes against Moscow as punishment for "bullying" behaviour.

But he warned that "more far reaching measures" were being prepared.

EU diplomats revealed they will meet on Monday to discuss new sanctions against Russia.

Earlier, the G7 group of economic powers agreed to intensify sanctions.

The West accuses Russia of leading a secessionist revolt in Ukraine's east after it annexed Crimea last month. Moscow denies the allegations.

Rebel militia continue to occupy official buildings in a dozen eastern cities, defying the Ukrainian government in Kiev.

Russia has tens of thousands of troops deployed along its side of the border with Ukraine and has said it would act if its interests were threatened.

'Bite'

US president Barack Obama has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of failing to "lift a finger" to persuade pro-Russian militants to comply with the Geneva deal intended to defuse the situation.

Ukraine map

"In fact, there's strong evidence that they've been encouraging the activities in eastern and southern Ukraine," Mr Obama said on a visit to Malaysia.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Hague said discussions were still going on but there was "likely to be an extension of existing sanctions, of the travel bans and asset freezes on individuals".

"The more names we add to that list the more they do bite in the Russian economy," he said.

"But we are also working on more far reaching measures of economic, trade and financial sanctions.

"Of course we have always hoped... that we don't have to go ahead with those things.

"We want world trade to expand and improve. But we will go ahead with them if necessary, if Russia continues to escalate this crisis.

"We will calculate them in a way that has the maximum effect on the Russian economy and the minimum effect on our own economies in the EU."

'Huge price'

Asked about possible damage to the British economy, he said: "It would be a price worth paying if this situation continues to deteriorate - yes it would.

"The European Commission has done a lot of work on this already so that all European nations would share in the sacrifices that would be involved.

"There would be some price to pay for this country and our allies of such measures.

"But there is a huge price to pay for allowing aggressive bullying behaviour to continue, for a European nation invading another European nation as has already happened in Crimea, breaking all aspects of international law in that regard.

"History teaches us that we have to stand up to such bullying behaviour from one state on to another."

Mr Hague pointed out that there had already been significant "capital flight" from Russia and falls in the country's stock markets.

"Of course what Russia really has to worry about here, even if they pretend not to be concerned about these sanctions, is the long-term effect on the Russian economy of this whole situation," he said.

"No-one should underestimate the impact on Russia and Russia's own interests of continued escalation of this crisis."

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  69.  
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  70.  
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    Nigel Evans, the former deputy speaker, describes a Labour idea to give the House of Commons speaker the opportunity to "yellow card" MPs for bad behaviour as "rubbish". The speaker already has the ability to remove MPs in certain circumstances and has lots of discretion at present, Mr Evans says. "You don't want to turn the chamber into a library," he adds. But Labour's Lisa Nandy says the current system hasn't worked.

     
  74.  
    12:50: Defence spending Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Labour's Lisa Nancy says no party has got everything right on defence, but says we need to look at the bigger picture if we want to give the armed forces "the ability to do their job". She says Liam Fox - ex-Tory defence secretary - was guilty of just looking at funding, not the wider picture, in comments had made yesterday. Baroness Brinton says the UK is still a major player in the world.

     
  75.  
    @_katedevlin Kate Devlin, Westminster Correspondent, the Herald

    tweets: "Don't laugh" it could happen" - David Cameron tells people of Colchester about a Labour government propped up by the SNP

     
  76.  
    @fleetstreetfox Fleet Street Fox, blogger

    tweets: Tory discounts for first time buyers mean developers won't be funding new roads/school places. Taxpayers will! Big business wins again.

     
  77.  
    12:47: Getting the right balance Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    On defence spending, Lib Dem Baroness Brinton says lots of money has been going into big schemes like Trident nuclear weapons, but it is important to balance that with boots on the ground.

     
  78.  
    12:46: Defence spending

    The PM is full of reassurance when asked about defence spending. He says he has committed to growing the defence equipment budget by 1% in real terms every year in the next parliament. He also says he knows "how much the Americans appreciate the fact that Britain is a very strong and very capable partner".

     
  79.  
    12:44: Defence spending Daily Politics Live on BBC Two
    Daily Politics set

    On military cuts, and the head of the US Army saying he is "very concerned" about the impact of those cuts on the UK's armed forces capability, Tory MP Rehman Chishti says David Cameron has made it clear he wants other countries to step up to the plate and commit to spending 2% of GDP on defence. He says he would like to see that figure in the UK, but won't commit to it. Labour's Lisa Nancy says very few countries have made the target and that her party won't reduce the budget any further, pending a strategic review of defence.

     
  80.  
    12:42: TV debates Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Continuing the discussion on personality and policy, Kevin Schofield, from the Sun, says he doesn't think the TV debates will happen now. There are too many obstacles, he says. Laura Hughes, a regional parliamentary reporter, says she thinks they should - and will - still go ahead.

     
  81.  
    12:40: On terror laws

    Mr Cameron is taking questions now. As well as housing, he's asked about so-called Jihadi John and whether he has plans to tighten up controls on radicalised individuals. "My view is national security comes first, whatever it takes, whatever is necessary... we want to push for those changes," he tells the audience in Hove. He goes on to say he's "not satisfied we can allow means of communication to develop" that extremists can use and we can't touch.

     
  82.  
    12:39: Campaign Countdown Review BBC News Channel

    The Campaign Countdown Review is underway. Desktop users can tune in using the live coverage tab above.

     
  83.  
    12:34: Do party leaders matter? Daily Politics Live on BBC Two
    Rick Nye

    Policy or personality? Rick Nye, from Populus, says party brands - and that includes leadership - are important when people come to vote, even if some people say otherwise. "You are supposed to be about the substance," he says, but "we are all to a greater or lesser extent driven by the attractiveness of parties and their leaders."

     
  84.  
    12:33: Syria question House of Commons Parliament

    Urgent question at 15.30 GMT in the Commons. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is to ask Home Secretary Theresa May for a statement on whether removing relocation powers - under the axed control orders regime - facilitated the travel of individuals to Syria.

     
  85.  
    @patrickwintour Patrick Wintour, Guardian political editor

    tweets: DC "By 2020, 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites will have planning permission for housing".

     
  86.  
    @paulnuttallukip Paul Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader

    tweets: How can Cameron plan for housing when he can't control immigration? Bonkers!

    UKIP poster
     
  87.  
    12:27: Help to buy

    The PM promises to extend Help to Buy throughout the next Parliament - assuming he's elected - which should help 120,000 more families.

     
  88.  
    @KateEMcCann Kate McCann, Whitehall correspondent at The Sun

    tweets: David Cameron says gov is on track to build 200,000 homes a year by 2017, not 2020.

     
  89.  
    12:24: Starter homes

    David Cameron says there's been "a quiet crisis" going on for some time - young people with good jobs unable to afford homes. Hence, the new starter homes plan. He says big developers have already signed up and promises the new homes won't be snapped up by foreign investors.

     
  90.  
    12:22: More rental options Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Lib Dem Baroness Brinton says more social and low-cost renting accommodation needs to be made available. For many people, buying still isn't going to be possible she adds.

     
  91.  
    12:21: More from Cameron
    David Cameron

    Labour's policy is to borrow more. Ours, the PM says - and it's that phrase again - is to see through our long-term economic plan.

     
  92.  
    12:18: In short supply Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Rehman Chisti says people who work hard should be able to aspire to owning their homes. He says the government is making "significant" progress, but admits more needs to be done to solve the problem. Labour's Lisa Nandy says house prices have gone up because of the lack of supply - her party wants to help builders construct new homes, too.

     
  93.  
    12:17: Security is key - PM

    David Cameron says his policies can be summed up in one word - security. He says that extends from the security of a good school place to security in old age. Key to that security, he adds, is owning your own home.

     
  94.  
    12:15: PM housing speech

    David Cameron has just started speaking on his housing plans in Colchester, Essex.

     
  95.  
    @Ed_Miliband Ed Miliband, Labour leader

    tweets: The next Labour government will deliver a better plan on housing:

    Labour housing plans
     
  96.  
    12:11: Emwazi case Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Mr Chishti says many radical preachers in the UK will tone their words so they are within the law. He says it is important to get such preachers off university campuses to avoid another case like Emwazi's. Labour's Lisa Nandy says a new support system for those vulnerable to radicalisation needs to be put in place.

     
  97.  
    12:10: Terror laws Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics is discussing the issues surrounding Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi - known to many as Jihadi John. Tory MP Rehman Chishti says fewer people have absconded under TPIMs than under the old system of control orders - and says they are the right way forward. Earlier, former reviewer of terrorism legislation Lord Carlile raised questions about the scrapping of control orders in relation to Jihadi John.

     
  98.  
    12:06: Campaign countdown BBC News Channel
    New Statesman's Stephen Bush and Rosamund Urwin from the London Evening Standard

    The BBC News Channel's review of the political week is coming up at 12:30 GMT. Today Rosamund Urwin, from the London Evening Standard, and the New Statesman's Stephen Bush will be discussing possible splits in UKIP, the Green Party's relaunch after Natalie Bennett's disastrous interview last week and reports that the prime minister is bored with his own campaign. We'll bring you the latest here and desktop users can watch it on the live coverage tab above.

     
  99.  
    @BuzzFeedUKPol BuzzFeed UK Politics

    tweets: A UKIP candidate got stranded on the beach after writing 'We Love Nige'. Read more.

     
  100.  
    @BBCNormanS Norman Smith

    tweets: No 10 say it remains PMs "ambition" to get net migration down to tens of thousands

     

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