Coffee House

David Cameron: This is a defining moment for Russia

21 July 2014

4:21 PM

21 July 2014

4:21 PM

David Cameron has made a statement to the House of Commons about the destruction of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. He was quick to say that even those who shot down flight MH17 would not have intended to commit such an atrocity. But, nevertheless, he excoriated Russia. ‘A conflict that could have been curtailed by Moscow has instead been fomented by Moscow,’ he said. He went on say that there is evidence that Russian weapons have found their way into the hands of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.


Cameron’s sadness and disgust were palpable. He said that it is time that Europe brought its power and influence to bear on Russia. He said that Russia cannot expect to have normal relations with the EU and the US when it behaves in this way. He hopes that the European Union will subject Russia to ‘tier three’ sanctions (those affecting financial services, defence and energy, among other things).

Cameron has two objectives: to open the crash site to international investigators and to force Russia to bring the separatists to heel, one way or another. He believes that sanctions will work because it is his view that Russia needs the EU and the US more than the EU and the US need Russia. Time will tell. The European Union is not united on this issue – at least not yet. Much will depend on the meeting in Brussels tomorrow.

There were also exchanges about the situation in Gaza. David Cameron walked the line between saying that Israel has a right to defend itself proportionately and expressing concern for Palestinian casualties. The debate that followed was more heat than light, although Harriet Harman did prompt Cameron into saying that the conflict will end when Hamas stops its rocket attacks. The Prime Minister repeated that line in subsequent answers.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • UkraineTruth
  • Mynydd

    What Mr Cameron didn’t say:
    The Ukraine government sanctioned flights over their country, including the troubled zone..
    The Ukraine government said it was safe to do so, when it was known that the anti-government/Russia forces, and their own forces, had high altitude missiles.
    The Malaysian airline continued to over fly the Ukraine when other airlines, such as BA, rerouted their fights away from the Ukraine.
    It was wrong that the international media, including the BBC, ITV and Sky, trampled over the crime scene.
    Finally he didn’t say, at the moment there are no actual facts as to what happened, just talk. It could have been a; ground to air missile (USA) and air to air missile (Russia), an on board bomb, or even catastrophic aircraft failure.
    Mr Cameron has taken the easy route, blame Mr Putin and Russia. The world need an international investigation and then bring the results before the international courts

  • Harry Pond

    Why can’t we just send in the lads and bring the bodies home first and think about things later. I personally think the response from western governments has been pathetic. As I see it Cameron is worried about gas supplies and is pandering to a gangster. What he does not seem to realise is that the British public are seething and could not give a monkies toss about gas. We are prepared to sacrifice a few temporary luxuries so as not to pander to a crook you pathetic little politician.

    • David Booth.

      Have you not noticed we have run down our armed forces. Even now redundancy notices are on the way to long serving staff.
      The first rule that Sandhurst cadets have drilled into them is “Do Not Invade Russia.”

      • Mynydd

        The redundancy notices are on the way to long serving, and experienced staff even before the replacement part time staff have been recruited and trained. That’s Mr Cameron for you, no idea.

  • George_Arseborne

    Putin will never take Cameron serious. Check the list of those that attended Cameron’s dinner party. Mostly Russian oligarchs. Why is he wasting parliament time?

  • Bonkim

    Get serious – don’t start a battle unless you are prepared to go the whole way.

    • HookesLaw

      As I posted earlier from the Telegraph — ‘Russia’s economy is the same size as California’s. Combined sanctions by the US, Europe, Japan and the OECD bloc pit a $35 trillion colossus against a $2 trillion midget.’

      So the west is capable of getting serious.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …not if your boy Call Me Dave is involved, it isn’t.

      • Cyril Sneer

        Great, and the end result of that is? A p ssed off nuclear power, reigniting the cold war and the threat of nuclear annihilation.

        Any wonder people are getting increasingly p ssed off with our leaders. The buffoons in Brussels and Washington will get us all killed.

  • pobinr

    It was the expansionsit EU, with US backing, that pushed for Ukraine to join the EU. Going so far as to orchestrate a coup to remove a democratically elected leader. The violent escalation comes as no surprise. Putin is no angel, but this time the origin of the crisis can be laid at the door of the awful and undemocratic EU.

    Now, I fear the EU & US will engage in a bravado contest with the Russian bears and we will see a lot more bloodshed. For what? Just to recruit another bankrupt corrupt Eastern state into the sodding EU to lap up more of our tax funded gravy?
    FFS at the last EU election half the ruddy electorate voted for parties to get us out.
    Cameron calling for the EU to reach as far as the Urals >

    • HookesLaw

      Another bonkers nutjob

    • Bonkim

      We will then complain of Ukrainian immigrants causing problems in in Britain.

      • pobinr

        Adding to these problems;

        Open borders, lax immigration policy in general & EU membership are OK if you like;

        1] Unemployment,austerity & democracy lost to ECB loan sharks in Med countries

        2] More & more control of our country given away to the emerging EU dictatorship

        3] Low population density E.European countries being further depopulated

        4] Cheap imported labour that drives wages down & take jobs from locals

        5] Classes full of kids that need special lessons in speaking basic English

        6] Being told it’s just Daily Mail fiction when we see it with our own eyes

        7] 28,000 or is it 5,000 Romanians I don’t care, held for crimes

        8] Higher house prices & rents due to increased demand

        9] More crowded surgeries & longer NHS queues

        10] More dependance on food & energy imports

        11] Worst housing shortage since WWII

        12] More & more houses on greenbelt

        13] More & more road congestion

        14] Child grooming gangs

        15] People traffickers

        16] More pollution

        17 ]More crowds

        18] More queues

        19] FGM

        Why would anyone in their right mind want these things?

        The Swiss who live in the only remaining democracy in Europe recently voted to take back control of their borders.

        So unlike us they will now be able to refuse entry to;




        FGM freaks


        Drug dealers

        ATM criminals

        Fake students

        Child traffickers

        People traffickers

        Child grooming gangs

        People that don’t speak their language

        People that want to adopt an alien culture

        People that want or have to wear burkhas

        People with no money & people with no skill or job.

        How the EU economic dictatorship is dismantling democracy in Europe >

        Vote UKIP

  • allymax bruce

    “David Cameron … was quick to say that even those who shot down flight MH17 would not have intended to commit such an atrocity.”
    Hmm; I wonder what that means?
    Could it mean that since Russia has attained primary AND secondary evidence to show that the real culprits of the massacre of MH17 was the Kiev government! David trying to ‘deftly’ switch his rhetoric to shout abosulte nothing; very loudly! Hmmm.

    “But, nevertheless, he excoriated Russia. ‘A conflict that could have been curtailed by Moscow has instead been fomented by Moscow,”
    Oh-well then; so Putin’s not to blame for the murder of MH17 anymore! Only that Putin’s to blame for getting to the wreckage first, cordoning-off the wreckage site, so that the criminal junta Kiev government can’t ‘manipulate’ the evidence! Hmmm!

    • HookesLaw

      What he is saying is that the rebels were incompetent.

      • allymax bruce

        If anybody has been incompetent it’s been the pathetic Kiev coup junta; that Yats’ is a walking liability. He’s giving Poroshenko fits!

  • colliemum

    I find it nothing short of amazing that Cameron hadn’t been briefed by his aides about this:

    One would have thought that someone might have told him to perhaps tone things down a bit and wait for the incontrovertible intelligence from the USA satellites, sort of like not burning all bridges before one’s 100% certain.

    Of course we know that Cameron would never do anything as uncouth as to ask his friend Obama why he’s not produced the evidence. No, Cameron prefers to rant down the phone at Putin – because he knows he doesn’t have to live with the consequences.

    • Unenlightened_Commentary

      Oh yes, Russia’s claim that they tracked a Ukrainian fighter heading towards MH17 before the crash.

      Just one small problem- the warplane can only fly up to 22000 feet, far too low to have got anywhere near the Malaysian flight. So the Putinbots had to spend the whole day editing the Wikipedia page to cover up yet another Kremlin lie imploding:

      • Cyril Sneer

        Does a jet have to get near a civilian airliner to shoot it down? No I don’t think it does.

        Simple fact, there is currently no irrefutable evidence, only speculation.

        You could argue as Ukraine also has these SAM systems, in greater numbers and also trained to use such a system then they’re suspect number 1.

        I’m still waiting on the Ukrainian ATC records which have strangely gone missing.

        • Unenlightened_Commentary

          “Does a jet have to get near a civilian airliner to shoot it down? No I don’t think it does.”

          The Russians disagree judging by the frantic Wikipedia edits.

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    Moar war!!

  • dado_trunking

    The incumbent knows he needs a war soon in order to stay in power.
    He is of course the heir to both Bliar and FATCHA.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …well he’s got you and your army of sockpuppets, to send in the first wave, eh lad?

      • dado_trunking

        First wave, is that nouveau right wing for Cool Britannia?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …and it’d be amusing watching an army of socialist nutter sockpuppets going to war, we must admit.

  • David Booth.

    Before Cameron starts to chuck his toys out of the pram he should ask himself what we can actually do about any Russian involvement with the downed plane. Very little I suspect.
    Soon he an other EU leaders will be reduced to standing around with placards around their necks in the way they did when those Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by Muslim terrorist.
    How did that situation resolve itself Mr Cameron?

    • Holly

      Hitting them in the pocket seems like a good enough place to start.
      How many rich Russians will be willing to take a financial ‘hit’, before they turn on Putin?

      • David Booth.

        Most of those rich Russians are rich because they have had the connivance of Putin in accruing that wealth. Putin has already thrown a couple of them in prison on trumped up charges. The other rich Russians are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.

    • HookesLaw

      The Telegraph reports
      ‘Russia’s economy is the same size as California’s. Combined sanctions by the US, Europe, Japan and the OECD bloc pit a $35 trillion colossus against a $2 trillion midget.’
      ‘The Kremlin can in theory use gas as a diplomatic weapon but this would ravage Russia’s own economy. It would not achieve much at this time of the year in any case since Europe has built up large gas reserves.’

      So do a bit of homework before spouting off.

      • David Booth.

        And do you think that Japan, USA, and Europe will act together against Russia?
        Listening to the Today programme on R4 just now it seems that France is already hesitating about being committed to sanctions. Why? because they have a big arms deal with Russia.
        I think it’s obvious what happened to that plane and it’s just as obvious we in the West can’t do much about it.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “A blabbering uber-pundit with an opinion on everything” talks tough having emasculated our armed forces in his eagerness to hose £11 billion of borrowed money to foreign despots and corrupt officials. And who bolsters the fake charities whose Labour-sponsored bosses oppose his ministers to the tune of £13 billion.

    • allymax bruce

      I can guarantee you that Putin will stick-it-to these EU gits tomorrow; Putin took a barage of lying abuse from these disgraceful EU ‘lackies’, and now Putin has all the evidence to show it wasn’t the East Ukraine rebels that shot down MH17. It was a nasty sneaky ‘set-up’ ploy by the Kiev government that shot down MH17.
      One more thing; it’s very important Putin is allowed to ‘construct’ a buffer-zone of East Ukraine Self-Proclaimed Republics; that way we all avoid World war 3.

      • realfish

        And the evidence for this particular conspiracy theory is what exactly? Or is Putin conjuring it up as we speak?

        • allymax bruce

          He’s got primary evidence from the black boxes, and corresponding secondary evidence from his own radar & sattelites.

      • HookesLaw

        What a thick hysteric you are.
        But to be fair good old Putin is a good lightning rod for attracting and exposing the crackpot nutjobs.

        • allymax bruce

          Hey, come on now; I’m a little eccentric, but I’ve still got all my marbles; Hooky!
          You may not like it, but I’m almost a genius; you should read my poetry sometime.

  • Kitty MLB

    Yes Mr Cameron Israel has a right to defend herself and it was
    correct of you to say so.
    We have no idea if this other atrocity was an ‘accident’ but it
    was diplomatic of Cameron to say so.
    The hobnail boot wearing thug Putin is flexing his muscles,
    why were boxes seized from MH17 before crash investigators
    attended the scene.Russia must face responsibility.Cameron
    and others say the world is watching, but thats not good enough,
    there needs to be EU sanctions against Putin and his thugs.

    • Laguna Beach Fogey

      The real thugs, unfortunately, are in Brussels and DC.

      • Kitty MLB

        I agree that the succubus of the EU is a thug,
        Labour are thugs, especially Blair. Putin is a thug
        although some are afraid to say.
        Cameron is somewhat niave at the best of times
        but he can never be called a thug.

      • HookesLaw


    • Cyril Sneer

      The rebels did the correct thing and handed the black boxes over to the Malaysian authorities.

  • Adrian Drummond

    “Much will depend on the meeting in Brussels tomorrow.”

    No doubt the Spectator will ignore this meeting like they have for every other in Brussels this month. Westminster is now a city council compared to where the power now lies.

    • HookesLaw

      Its perfectly sensible for Europe to combine and co-ordinate its economic reaction to hundreds of Europeans being shot down by a Russian missile. I am sure Holland is grateful for allies in responding to a plane which left its own airport being shot down and scores of its own citizens killed.

  • Terence Hale

    Mr. Cameron who was quite rightly critically adamant over the Russians direct support for the Ukraine separatists. He did not comment on the British governments relationship to Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams.

    • Holly

      Why would he when discussing Russia, nutjobs, and the Ukraine?

      • Kitty MLB

        I was going to ask that. Rather like, Hey! What about that despot Putin taking advantage of our ‘weakness’
        Over the situation in the middle east for his own
        malevolent agenda. But decided to leave it.

        • rtj1211

          Excuse me, but what is this ‘malevolent agenda’ in the middle east?? It would appear to me that the US/UK and Europeans have had far more malevolent agendas in the Middle East for at least 100 years than Russia has ever had.

          The Saudi Arabians have fairly malovelent agendas too but do you talk about them?? They are arming all the Syrian rebels who are rather nasty people who you would call absolute evil and that arming process has caused the civil war in syria with all the attendant carnage. Putin didn’t cause that.

          Now please spell out what Putin’s ‘malevolent agenda’ in the Middle East is and how it is infinitely more ‘malevolent’ than the US/UK position??

          Treat me as a judge in a court of law and don’t be reduced to calling me a leftie, a West hater, a US hater or the like.

          Provide the facts and if they stack up, you win.

    • rtj1211

      Well, they are no longer ‘terrorists’ are they and he wasn’t the Prime Minister when the RUC, the Army and MI5 were on maneuvres in Northern Ireland, was he??

      Our role in overthrowing Yanukovych would be a more relevant discussion to have, if that we must do at this stage…….

    • HookesLaw

      What relationship is that? Gerry Adams is at the moment (still is I think) under police investigation. So Cameron has not intervend the thing is still going on.