Britain is drawing up plans to ensure that any EU action against Russia over Ukraine will exempt the City of London, according to a secret government document photographed in Downing Street. As David Cameron said Britain and its EU partners would put pressure on Moscow after it assumed control of Crimea, a government document drawn up for a meeting of senior ministers said that “London’s financial centre” should not be closed to Russians. It did say that visa restrictions and travel bans could be imposed on Russian officials. The picture of the document was taken by the freelance photographer Steve Back, who specialises in spotting secret documents carried openly by officials entering Downing Street. The document was in the hands of an unnamed official attending a meeting of the national security council (NSC) called by the prime minister to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. The document said Britain should: • “Not support, for now, trade sanctions … or close London’s financial centre to Russians.” • Be prepared to join other EU countries in imposing “visa restrictions/travel bans” on Russian officials. • “Discourage any discussions (eg at Nato) of contingency military preparations.” • Embark on “contingency EU work on providing Ukraine with… Read full this story
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