- Russian ‘invasion of Ukraine has begun’, says UK minister
- Ukraine accuses Russia of violating sovereignty
- Oil surges and stocks drop after Putin orders troops into Ukraine
- Boris Johnson calls Ukrainian leader as diplomatic efforts fade
- Putin orders Russian troops into Ukraine on ‘peacekeeping mission’
LONDON – Russian invasion of Ukraine has already begun so Britain will impose sanctions on Russia, a senior British minister said on Tuesday (Feb 22) as Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired an emergency government response meeting over the Ukraine crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognising them as independent on Monday, accelerating a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war.
According to Reuters, tanks and other military equipment were seen moving through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after Putin formally recognized the breakaway regions and ordered the deployment of Russian forces to “keep the peace.”
“You can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun,” British Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News. “The Russians, President Putin, has decided to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.”
“We will be introducing sanctions as we said we always will,” he said.
Britain has threatened to restrict Russian firms’ access to US dollars and British pounds, preventing them from raising capital in London and exposing what Johnson refers to as the “Russian doll” of property and company ownership.
Britain has not yet specified who will be subject to the sanctions, but has promised that Russian oligarchs will have nowhere to hide. Russian banks, according to Johnson, could be among the targets.
Johnson will announce sanctions in a statement to parliament, according to Javid.
“I’m sure that we’ll make those sanctions as targeted as possible to the people that are responsible for this flagrant violation of international law,” Javid said.