Britain’s defense minister, Ben Wallace, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “not optimistic.”
Wallace, now in Germany, told the BBC that he would soon meet Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Moscow.
He said there was still a “chance” to stop the invasion, but added that “I’m not optimistic.”
Wallace told parliamentarians on Tuesday that there are already individuals in Ukraine who are “connected to the Russian state in a non-traditional way” and “should be a source of concern.”
“We are beginning to notice a significant number of individuals currently in Ukraine who have been assessed as being associated with Russian military avant-garde operations,” he told Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Britain would support the deployment of NATO and be ready to send troops to protect the eastern side of the alliance.
He told the MP that more than 100,000 Russian troops were “arranged” on the eastern border of Ukraine. This was previously “much larger than what Russia had deployed” against Ukraine.
Mr Johnson said Britain “doesn’t hesitate” to tighten sanctions on Russia “according to the president.” [Vladimir] Putin may do so. “
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Britain had not ruled out support for personal sanctions against Putin if Russia invaded Ukraine.
Truss commented after US President Joe Biden suggested that moving to penalize the Russian President could be an option in the case of aggression.
Asked if Britain would support personal sanctions against Putin, Truss told the BBC Radio 4 “Today” program that the government “did not rule out anything.”
“We have not ruled out anything about sanctions. In fact, we are strengthening our sanctions system so that in the event of an intrusion, we can fully attack both Russian individuals, businesses and banks. Enact a law, “she said.
“The important thing is that all our allies do the same, because it is a collective action and by showing that Vladimir Putin is united, to stop Russia’s invasion. Because it is useful. “
Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.