David Cameron vows to stand up to Russian aggression

David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

THE PRIME Minister has vowed to temper Russian aggression with the economic might of the EU as he criticises states that 'rip up the rulebook'.

Just 24 hours after it was announced that there will be a ceasefire in Syria within a week, Mr Cameron pointed the finger at Russia for its global posturing.

Russia is accused of bombing civilians in the conflict by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and in a speech on EU reform delivered in Germany this evening, Mr Cameron backed his minister by deliberately singling out the country.

He said: "In a world where some countries claim you can be a great economic success but bypass democracy, restrict the free press and go without the rule of law, we need to stand together, and show that – far from holding countries back - these things make us stronger.

"In a world where Russia is invading Ukraine and a rogue nation like North Korea is testing nuclear weapons, we need to stand up to this aggression together - and bring our economic might to bear on those who rip up the rulebook and threaten the safety of our people."

The speech delivered in Hamburg late last night was the final major play by Mr Cameron for support over his EU renegotiation plans ahead of a meeting of all 28 member states next week at the EU Council.

It followed day long talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was expected last night to give her support to Britain remaining in the European.

Mr Cameron's Hamburg address set out the wider aims of his EU reform agenda and put global security at the heart of his last public appearance in his month long dash around Europe to drum up support for his proposed deal.

Defeating so-called Islamic State is the 'struggle of our generation' he told the Chancellor, and appealed to Britain and Germany's post-war history of curbing extremism.

He said: "The reason why I believe it is so vital to keep Britain in a reformed European Union is that when I look at the world today and where it is going I am convinced more than ever that we need Britain and Germany working together to shape a European Union that can deliver prosperity and security for us all.

"And in a world where people look at the threat of extremism and blame poverty or the foreign policy of the West, we need to say: no, it’s about an ideology that is hijacking Islam for its own barbaric purposes and poisoning the minds of our young people.

"And just as Europe has faced down dangerous and murderous ideologies in the past.

"So again we must stand together in this, the struggle of our generation."

Mr Cameron said his reforms of avoiding an ever closer political union and protecting the pound against he euro, were in both countries shared interests.

Trade deals enrich both nations too, he added, but made no apologies for Britain holding the referendum, and his aim of achieving a renegotiated settlement that claws back more power for the UK.

He said: "So whether through trade, enterprise or security co-operation, Britain and Germany are leading the way in Europe - promoting our values and enhancing the prosperity and security of us all.

"Some may say Britain is sometimes seen as argumentative and rather strong-minded.

"I make no apology for that. It is who we are.

"We have the character of an island nation - independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty - and of institutions that have served us well for many hundreds of years."