Have sanctions imposed by the UK government on Russia gone far enough?

ITV News Political Reporter David Wood explains the options available to the UK government.

The uncomfortable reality for the UK government, and the West in general, is that economic sanctions against Russia aren't working, aren't stopping the invasion of Ukraine and aren't stopping the bloodshed.

As the situation in Ukraine becomes increasingly unpredictable and increasingly dangerous there is a sense that all the West can do is wait to see how the next few hours develop in Ukraine.

Here the government wants to show it is taking a tough stance and the main focus continues to be hitting Russia and its President in the pockets with increasingly tough economic sanctions.

The UK government is facing criticism for not imposing sanctions on as many individual Russians with close links to Putin as other western countries. Ministers insist they will come, but they need to ensure they're legally watertight so can't be unpicked in court after they're imposed.

That is the preferred option instead of imposing sanctions quickly and then risk seeing them unravel in our courts when challenged by the very rich Russians they're trying to damage.

There is, I am told, increasing optimism though about the SWIFT system, this is the international money transfer banking system, the UK wants Russia kicked out of it but all nations involved need to agree.

A number of EU nations have been stumbling blocks, but today both Italy and France suggested they now back the UK stance and there are hints that Germany may follow suit soon.

A government source tells me this is welcome news but even if all relevant countries agree it will still take some days to implement the sanction, but should it be introduced, it will hurt the Russian economy very significantly.

Away from the economic route to try and convince Putin to withdraw his troops, there is the military one. The UK, along with NATO, will not send troops into Ukraine.

Instead on Friday night the Defence Secretary held a meeting of 25 nations who've agreed to send weapons and/or humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Although some argue that it would have been far better for such equipment to have been sent before the invasion.

The other fault line for the UK government that is beginning to open up is how it is offering to help refugees who are fleeing Ukraine.

Since the invasion started the UK Embassy in Kyiv has been closed. There is growing pressure on the humanitarian side, I am told that the UK government is looking at how it can directly help and it is facing increasing calls from across the political divide to make a direct offer to displaced Ukrainians to come here if they wish to and escape the region altogether.

The Home Office says it has an "extensive visa application centre network in neighbouring countries".

Ukrainians in these countries can access these services & apply for visas under existing immigration routes." Whilst inside Ukraine relations of UK nationals in the country can apply for visas in Lvov and neighbouring countries.

The government still hopes the growing list of sanctions will start to bite and hurt the Russian economy hard enough to force Putin to change his mind and withdraw his troops, if that plan continues to fail then pressure will grow on the UK to do more to help Ukrainians desperately fleeing their country to find a home in safety.