LONDON, July 29 (UPI) -- The British government is in agreement with its European counterparts on the need for tougher sanctions against Russia, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Western powers have issued sanctions targeting the Russian energy sector, a pillar of its economy, in response to Moscow's position on crises in Ukraine.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said he and his European counterparts were in agreement tougher sanctions were needed because of evidence suggesting Russia was sending weapons across the border to separatists in Ukraine.
World powers "should therefore impose further costs on Russia and specifically that ambassadors from across the EU should agree a strong package of sectoral sanctions as swiftly as possible," a government spokesman said in a statement published Tuesday by the BBC.
Japan's decision to join the list of countries targeting Russia with economic sanctions was met with a strong rebuke from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Tokyo's decision, the ministry said, "will inevitably harm the entire complex of bilateral relations and will cause regression."
Russia's economy relies heavily on oil and gas export revenue. Russian energy companies have turned their focus to Asian economies, where energy demands are high.