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Tory backbenchers demand action in Ukraine

Gung-ho Tory backbenchers demanded action yesterday to stoke up the Ukraine crisis.

Aldershot MP Gerald Howarth told Foreign Secretary William Hague in the Commons that a Nato maritime task force should immediately be dispatched to the area.

Kensington MP Malcolm Rifkind, also Mr Hague’s predecessor, urged much tougher economic and financial sanctions against Russia.

Mr Hague promised his bellicose backbenchers that a third tier of tougher sanctions had been prepared, but he argued that the time had not yet come to impose them.

It would not be “helpful” to set out in detail a “trip wire or a red line” which would trigger such sanctions, he said.

However, a Russian military invasion of “parts of eastern Ukraine” would lead to their implementation.

Mr Hague claimed that Russia is directing “well-planned and organised” actions by armed militias in the area.

He also made the breathtaking claim that the Ukrainian regime had shown “immense restraint.”

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