MP for Braintree and Halstead James Cleverly has said Vladimir Putin used “bully” tactics in his attempts to justify his invasion of Ukraine.

This morning, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Thousands of troops headed across the border into their neighbouring country, with explosions heard around the country this morning, including around capital city Kyiv.

US President Joe Biden, alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other world leaders have joined together to condemn the attack on Ukraine.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, MP for Braintree and Halstead, and Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly claimed Vladimir Putin used “bully” tactics in his televised attempts to justify invading Ukraine.

He also described the Russian president’s warning to the international community as an attempt to “scare” them away from responding.

Mr Putin issued a stark warning to other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.

Mr Cleverly told BBC Breakfast: “It’s clear that he is trying to bully the international community, as he has attempted to bully Ukraine for years, and we will have none of it.

“The international community stands shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in their defence of their homeland.

“If Vladimir Putin thinks that he can scare the international community away from supporting Ukrainians in defence of their homeland, he is absolutely wrong on that and should be under absolutely no illusion that we will continue to support the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian people.”

Previously, the Foreign Office Minister said the UK can expect to see tougher sanctions against Russia.

READ MORE >> Braintree MP warns of further Russian sanctions in bid to tackle Ukraine invasion

He has now added that further economic sanctions against Russia will be announced later on Thursday, amid criticism that those already set out by the UK Government are weak.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Cleverly said he believes the UK’s initial round of sanctions failed to deter Russia partly because Mr Putin is making decisions “increasingly in isolation” and “illogically”.

He said: “What became evident in the days leading up to this invasion is that Vladimir Putin is increasingly isolated. That bizarre video of him berating his senior officials shows that he’s making these decisions increasingly in isolation and illogically.

“And unfortunately, I think that that is part of the reason why the initial round of international sanctions that (were) put in place by ourselves, by France, Germany, the US, Canada and others, didn’t have the deterrent effect.”

But he said news that further sanctions are imminent had sparked a “huge reduction in Russia’s economic abilities to fund this invasion”.

Mr Cleverly said: “The sanctions package that will be put in response to this is already actually having an effect. Just the announcement that it’s coming – we’ve seen the Russian stock market, the equivalent of the FTSE, drop by over 30%.

“That is a huge reduction in Russia’s economic abilities to fund this invasion.

“And those sanctions will be laid today and over forthcoming days to really prevent Russia from funding this invasion.”