The prime minister said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “completely violated international law” with his actions in Ukraine and there will now be “an immediate package of economic sanctions.”
He added: “I’m afraid everything indicates that President Putin is indeed set on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the takeover, the subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country, and I think, let’s be absolutely clear, that this would be absolutely catastrophic.”
Conflict in Ukraine: Boris Johnson holds emergency meeting in response to crisis as…
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, recognizing them as independent states.
The footage released at night shows how Russian military equipment is heading towards the border with Ukraine.
You can follow updates on our live blog.
Last update: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 11:30 am
Germany has ordered the withdrawal from Russia of a key document required for the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
VIOLATION: Russia has said that recognition of the independence of regions in eastern Ukraine extends to territory currently held by Ukrainian forces.
Britain’s ambassador to the UN Security Council, Dame Barbara Woodward, said Russia had “brought us to the brink,” warning that the country’s actions “will have grave and far-reaching consequences.”
She said the invasion would unleash “the forces of war, death and destruction” on the people of Ukraine.
“The humanitarian impact will be dire for civilians fleeing the fighting. We know that women and children will suffer the most,” she added.
She said the Security Council must be united, calling on Russia to “immediately de-escalate” as well as “condemning aggression against a sovereign state and defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
“Russia has put us on the brink,” she said. “We call on Russia to back off.”
In a letter sent to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and copied to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and other ministers, Association of Ukrainians in Britain (AUGB) national chairman Petro Revko said it was clear the “window for diplomacy” had closed.
He said: “As you are well aware, the possibilities of continued military threats and potential further aggression are very real, and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe is unimaginable.
“History shows us that the Russian invading forces will not consider the safety and human rights of the civilian population, that the death toll will be significant, and that war crimes will be committed.”
He added: “We believe it is time for the UK government and its NATO partners to act without further delay as Russia now escalates its war against Ukraine.”
“As we speak, there is now a meeting taking place in Brussels with senior officials to discuss and discuss these things.”
Ireland’s foreign minister said the time had come for the EU to impose sanctions on Russia.
Simon Coveney said Russia’s actions and Putin’s recent comments about Ukraine’s sovereignty were “a signal of intent.”
“And if Europe and the US and the UK and others don’t respond, I think clearly, firmly and unanimously, then I don’t think Russia will have a deterrent to stop there.”
He said there were ongoing discussions in the EU about what form the sanctions would take.
Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid compared the situation in Ukraine to the Caribbean crisis at the height of the Cold War.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “I really think it’s such a serious situation. Here, President (Vladimir) Putin still has the opportunity to retreat, despite the fact that he has now chosen to confront the dialogue. It is not too late for him to retreat, return his troops to Russia and start a dialogue.
“But we have to be realistic – clearly this doesn’t seem like his intention, definitely at this point in time, and we have to take it very seriously.
“This is a real test for the West too.”
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but Mr. Javid has made it clear that if Russia continues to invade one of the alliance’s eastern states, war will break out.
“If the territorial integrity of one NATO member is violated, this is tantamount to a declaration of war on all NATO members.”