UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the "first tranche" of British sanctions on Russia, condemning Vladimir Putin's Ukraine aggression and saying Europe must "brace ourselves" for his next steps.
Johnson told lawmakers that people "will struggle to understand or to contemplate how, in the year 2022, a national leader might calmly and deliberately plot the destruction of a peaceful neighbor."
"Yet the evidence of his own words suggest that is exactly what President Putin is doing," he said.
The UK will sanction five Russian banks and three "very high net worth" individuals, Johnson said in Parliament.
"What (Putin) is doing is going to be a disaster for Russia," he said, predicting "pariah status" for the nation if it continues to further invade Ukraine.
"We will continue to seek a diplomatic solution until the last possible moment," Johnson said. "But we have to face the possibility that none of our messages has been heeded and that Putin is implacably determined to go further in subjugating and tormenting Ukraine."
Johnson's predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May, told Parliament that Britain must defend "the right to democracy itself," adding: "What lies behind this is a wider, worldwide trend of authoritarian states trying to impose their way of thinking on others."
Earlier, Johnson's spokesperson supported Germany's move to halt certification of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. "Europe has to wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons," the spokesperson told reporters, according to PA Media.