British prime minister Boris Johnson has promised the UK will apply economic sanctions on Russia after President Vladimir Putin sent troops into the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk this week.
Speaking after an emergency early-morning cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson said the "first barrage" of sanctions designed to "hit Russia very hard" will be outlined in parliament today (February 22nd 2022).
Russia has repeatedly claimed it is peacekeeping and simply performing military exercises in the rebel-held regions, but these claims have been dismissed as nonsense by the west. Indeed, Mr Johnson said he suspects Russian is planning a full-scale Ukrainian invasion imminently.
Other countries have already begun to punish Russia in response, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shelving the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia and the US announcing its own financial sanctions this week.
LBC reports that the British sanctions could target Russia's chemical, defense, extractives, ICT and financial services industries.
Russian ambassador in the UK Andrei Kelin commented: "We will of course find ways to respond."