When asked about sanctions against Russia, the PMS said the UK is playing a major role in the discussions in Brussels, and has been one of the countries pushing for a strong response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. She added that the UK continues to press on 2 key areas; sectoral measures and expanding measures already in place. She added that there should be an overall balance in the EU’s approach with a range of sectors targeted.
Asked about the timings of further sanctions, the PMS said that the UK wants to move as swiftly as possible and discussions are moving in the right direction. Asked about the impact of Russian sanctions on the UK, the PMS said we have been clear that there could be some economic pain felt as a result of these measures. She added that we must consider the economic impact of inaction – of allowing commercial airlines to be shot down.
When asked about the escalating violence in Libya, the PMS said that the Prime Minister is concerned about the situation in Libya, and the FCO had revised its travel advice. The UK is in contact with other missions in Tripoli and, more broadly, we have been working to improve the situation through the UK Special Envoy, alongside the US Special Envoy, and trying to get more dialogue which could bring about a political resolution and more stability on the ground.