Harborough MP Neil O’Brien today said the UK and the West have to unite and take tough action now as Russian tanks and troops rolled into Ukraine overnight.
Neil said Russian president Vladimir Putin has got to be stopped in his tracks now before he orders and carries out a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
He spoke to the Harborough Mail this morning as Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has now begun.
“Exactly what we feared would happen is now happening.
“It’s never black and white with Putin – so we don’t know at this stage precisely what his intentions are.
“It looks as if he’s now sending tanks, troops and trucks into Donetsk and Luhansk in the east of Ukraine,” said Neil.
“But will he go for the capital city Kiev and start a wider war or just occupy and annex the two eastern breakaway regions?
“Putin is becoming increasingly eccentric and isolated so we don’t know what’s going through his head and what he’ll do.
“This is a very dark morning, a sombre morning, for the whole of Europe and indeed the world.
“It is madness the whole thing.
“This whole historic bitterness over Ukraine, Putin’s living in a fantasy world.
“But we have got to stop him now and we have to hurt him.
“We’ve got to co-ordinate efforts with the United States and our Allies to hit him where it hurts.
“We have to impose such tough drastic economic sanctions and financial measures that even this tyrant finally sits up and takes notice.
“He’s nibbled away in the past at areas such as Georgia and the Crimea,” said the Conservative MP.
“He’s got away with it but we have to be decisive now.
“It will be painful for him and for the rest of us.
“But if he’s allowed to get away with rolling his tanks and military might over the borders of a sovereign country like Ukraine again where will he look next?
“The Baltic states, for example?
“Putin’s got problems at home and this is another classic case of taking eye-catching action abroad to try to divert his people’s attention,” insisted Neil.
“But if we don’t act strongly or urgently enough now what sort of a message does that send out to other tyrants and despots around the world?
“Would China take that as the go-ahead to invade Taiwan for instance?
“We have to exert such huge economic pressure and pain on Putin that he’s forced to have a total rethink and get back out of Ukraine altogether.
“Putin has to realise that he can’t just do what he wants, invading other countries with thousands of innocent lives being put at immediate risk.
“The UK and the West has to stay strong and stand together because we have to stop him now before he goes any further.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said this morning: “We are waking up to a very dark day in Europe.
“We have seen that Putin has recognised breakaway eastern regions in Ukraine and from the reports we can already tell that he has sent in tanks and troops.
“From that you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun.”
Speaking moments later, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a “first barrage of UK economic sanctions against Russia” will be revealed later today.