OREANDA-NEWS. US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as leaders of several European countries, the European Union and NATO have discussed developments in the situation around Ukraine, including sanctions against Russia in case the conflict escalates. This was reported by The Mirror.

The politicians discussed online efforts to contain "Russian aggression", including by preparing serious economic costs for Moscow and strengthening the defence of NATO's eastern flank.

The meeting concluded that an "unprecedented package of sanctions" should be imposed on Russia in the event of an "invasion" of Ukraine. At the same time, the leaders stressed that diplomatic negotiations were the "first priority". "They also agreed that the international community should not tolerate any action that undermines Ukraine's sovereignty,"- the British prime minister's press office added.

Threats of new sanctions against Russia by European states began to emerge since last autumn, when Western media and officials reported preparations for a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine. Alleged dates were repeatedly mentioned. Moscow has denied all the accusations. President Vladimir Putin pointed out that it was NATO countries that continued to create hotbeds of tension near Russia's borders.

Earlier, The Telegraph reported that the British prime minister supported the idea of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system. Besides, according to The Telegraph, he does not rule out imposing sanctions against Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

At the same time, the German edition Handelsblatt, citing government sources, pointed out that the United States and EU countries refused to consider the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system. The sources said the move could destabilise financial markets in the short term and help create an alternative payment infrastructure that would no longer be dominated by Western countries.