LONDON, March 4 Britain said on Tuesday it
regretted the leak of a document which indicated that London
opposed trade sanctions on Russia and cautioned that the
document should not be seen as any guide to British policy on
the response to the crisis in Ukraine.
The official document, which was photographed as a senior
official carried it into a meeting in Prime Minister David
Cameron's Downing Street residence on Monday, indicated Britain
opposes trade sanctions and any move to impose restrictions on
Russian access to London.
If it were an accurate reflection of British policy, the
document illustrates the difficulties Western powers face in
agreeing on sanctions that could deter President Vladimir Putin
from further action in Ukraine.
"Any such photographing or making any documents available
for photographing is absolutely regrettable and should not
happen," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament.
"Anything that is written in one document being carried by
one official is not necessarily any guide to the decisions that
will be made by Her Majesty's government and our options remain
very much open on this subject."