Britain says Putin has chosen path to Russia's isolation

LONDON Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:17pm GMT

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (L-R), Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius attend a European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (L-R), Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius attend a European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels March 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

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LONDON (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has chosen the path to Russia's isolation by moving to annex Ukraine's Crimea region, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

"It was regrettable to hear President Putin today choosing the route of isolation, denying the citizens of his own country, and of Crimea, partnership with the international community and full membership of a range of international organisations," Hague said in a statement to parliament.

Hague also said there was grave danger that a provocation elsewhere in Ukraine could be used as a pretext for a further military escalation. He said that it was highly likely that other G8 countries would now want to meet without Russia.

(Reporting by William James, Kylie MacLellan and Julia Fioretti, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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