Britain says leaked document no guide to possible Russian sanctions

LONDON - 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."