Ukraine

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 13th May 2014.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:45 pm, 13th May 2014

Russia certainly has the involvement I pointed out in my statement, but I also argued that, given the longer-term consequences for Russia, the escalating sanctions, and some of the tragedies that have happened, such as in Odessa, it is in Russia’s interests to co-operate with the initiative that the OSCE chair has launched, which we support.

Russia is capable of adjusting its approach. As others have said, President Putin’s actions will be much more important than his words, but his words last week, when he described the elections as a step forward in Ukraine, represent a substantive change in the Russians’ position. Their previous position was that Yanukovych was still the legitimate President of Ukraine. Clearly, if the elections are a step forward, the Russians have changed their position in accepting a new president rather than the old one. The Russian position has very much created this crisis, but it is not an immutable position.