Europe mulls economic sanctions on Russia as Nato builds forces

Kate McCann
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Angela Merkel
Europe is understood to be considering further economic sanctions on Russia, including banning the purchase of Russian government bonds, as fighting in Ukraine continues.

The news came as Nato detailed plans to create a 4,000 strong high-readiness force which could be deployed to eastern Europe to protect member states from Russian aggression. The proposal is expected to be agreed by Nato member states at a summit in Wales later this week.

David Cameron urged President Putin to deescalate the violence in the region during a statement to the House of Commons yesterday. Calling Russia’s actions “completely unjustified and unacceptable”, Cameron threw his weight behind tough new financial restrictions to curb military action by Putin’s forces. Russia is attempting to force Ukraine to abandon its democratic choices “at the barrel of a gun”, he added. The Prime Minister has the support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who told a press conference: “Accepting Russia's behaviour is not an option. And therefore it was necessary to prepare further sanctions.” Cameron is not currently looking to push for Russia to be stripped of the 2018 World Cup, his spokesman said yesterday.

The talks came as Ukrainian forces suffered further heavy losses, including in Luhansk, where government troops lost control of the airport after being attacked by a Russian tank battalion.

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