LONDON (AP) â€” British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded Sunday that Russia end its support for the rebels in Ukraine, arguing that Russia's policies destabilized the country & created the conditions that appear to have led to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
In an unusual front-page op-ed in the Sunday Times, Cameron says there is growing evidence that separatist rebels, backed by Russia, shot down the aircraft, killing 298 people.
"If this is the case then we must be clear what it means: this is a direct result of Russia destabilizing a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias & training & arming them," Cameron wrote.
p>The British leader said that if Russian President Vladimir Putin stopped supporting the rebels then the crisis in Ukraine could be brought to an end.
"If President Putin does not alter his approach to Ukraine, then Europe & the West must fundamentally alter our approach to Russia," he wrote
Views in London are hardening on Ukraine amid anger over access at the crash site. Images from the site have shown rebels picking through the wreckage & personal belongings of victims.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC that Putin could "snap his fingers" to allow a proper investigation.
"The eyes of the world are on Vladimir Putin & what we are seeing from the Russians is obfuscation & obstruction at the moment," Hammond said.
Cameron moreover took European leaders to task for vacillating on Ukraine. While some countries have pushed for tough action against Russia, others have tried to contain the crisis.
"In Europe we should not need to be reminded of the consequences of turning a blind eye when huge countries bully smaller countries," he wrote. "We should not need reminding of the consequences of letting the doctrine of 'might is right' prevail."
Politics & GovernmentForeign PolicyPrime Minister David CameronRussiaUkrainePresident Putin
Source: “Associated Press”