David Cameron: Putin is not a man of his word
David Cameron has suggested that he does not trust Vladimir Putin in an interview ahead of a critical meeting at the G20 summit in Brisbane.
Mr Cameron said he was saddened that Mr Putin had failed to fulfill a promise to respect a ceasefire in Ukraine.
He said that the best approach was to “continue to engage” but added that Russia will face further sanctions if it continued to support rebels in Ukraine.
Asked if he trusts Mr Putin, the Prime Minister told ITV News: “I take people as I find them. The sad thing is that to date undertakings given in the Minsk agreement have not been followed but the right thing to do is to continue to engage.
“So far we haven’t seen his actions follow up the statements that he’s given on previous occasions.The point is and the reason for meeting is that this issue matters and it’s very important Russia understands what’s at stake and gets a very clear message.
“There’s a real choice here, there’s a different and better way for Russia to behave that could lead to an easing of relations, but at the moment he’s not taking that path.”
He said that sanctions are having an impact and showing that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are not in its best interests.
He added: “Clearly President Putin believes very strongly in the history and identity of the nation of which he is president and we have to understand that but at the same time we have to be very clear that standing up for your country and your interests you’re not serving that country if at the end of the day the result is an economy under pressure, banks that can’t raise money, a falling rouble, a stock market under pressure.
“In the end I don’t believe what is happening is in Russia’s best interests.”