Press briefing: afternoon 5 March 2014
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Crimea and Scotland.
Asked how close the EU was to an agreement on a package of costs to Russia, the PMS referred the assembled press to the Foreign Minister’s words earlier in the day; the UK was working closely with France and Germany, and bringing 28 nations to agreement always requires a lot of hard work.
The PMS said that the outcome of the following day’s meeting in Paris would depend in part on the Russian government’s approach. He said that that the US Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister would meet later that day to discuss how they could progress toward de-escalation, including the possibility of a contact group.
Asked about Polish involvement in discussions, the PMS confirmed that Poland would be involved.
Asked whether France and Germany’s respective wishes to keep business and fuel links open with Russia would prevent meaningful action being taken, the PMS said that EU foreign ministers were discussing potential actions on Monday. Visa restrictions were one example. Discussions were ongoing.
Asked to confirm Britain is not supplying weapons, such as anti ship missiles, and whether military helicopters were included in licences, the PMS said that Russian export licences in question were for components for vehicles and vessels.
Asked for the PM’s response to claims that RBS and Lloyds bank would have to move to London if Scottish Independence occurred, the PMS said questions were for the Scottish First Minister and the ‘Yes’ campaign.