David Cameron spoke to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today before the meeting of the National Security Council. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the pair ‘agreed it’s important that the Russian government enter into discussion with the Ukrainian government on how to reduce tensions in the region and de-escalate the situation’.
The spokesman repeatedly emphasised that ‘de-escalation’ was a key part of the international response to the situation at present, suggesting that it was as important as the threat of costs to Russia. He said:
‘The way I would characterise things is that… the international community is clear that there will be what the Foreign Secretary is talking about in terms of significant costs but also alongside that, seeking ways of de-escalation, encouraging this dialogue between the Ukrainian government and the Russian authorities that we were talking about this morning.’
He added that the ‘violation of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty will lead to significant costs, but I would keep emphasising the point around de-escalation’.