By Nicholas Winning
LONDON--U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is due to make a statement in parliament on Monday after pressing for tougher sanctions against Russia in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which killed 298 people.
Britain has called for a decision on further sanctions against Russian entities and individuals at a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, and for discussion about tougher so-called third stage sanctions targeting broad sectors of the Russian economy. Mr. Cameron is due to make his statement about 1430 GMT.
Anger in European capitals about the crash, widely believed to have been caused by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine, mounted over the weekend as rebels hindered international efforts to inspect the crash site and recover victims' remains. ( Follow the latest updates on the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine.)
The latest U.S. intelligence assessments are that Moscow likely provided the separatist rebels with sophisticated antiaircraft weapons in recent days, matching evidence put forward by Ukraine and supporting charges that Russia was the source of the weapon that shot down the plane on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of Mr. Cameron's statement, U.K. treasury chief George Osborne said Russian sanctions could have an impact on the U.K. economy but the impact of not acting could be much worse. It was important to have access to the site of the downed airliner in Ukraine, not least for the families of the victims, he said.
"Any sanctions will have an economic impact and we are prepared to undertake further sanctions, but think of the economic hit of allowing international borders to be ignored, of allowing airliners to be shot down, that is a much greater economic hit for Britain and we're not prepared to just allow that to happen," he said on British Broadcasting Corp. radio.
Write to Nicholas Winning at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 21, 2014 06:49 ET (10:49 GMT)
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