UKIP MEP William Dartmouth has accused the government of using "dunce's diplomacy" over the situation in Ukraine.
William Dartmouth said: “What Putin has done is wrong but the West has played a terrible hand. Nobody should ever ask William Hague to play poker on their behalf, that’s for sure.
“The EU encouraged Western Ukrainians to think a future as a member state and large net recipient of funds was beckoning. The population then toppled a legitimate president.
“The idea that this would go unanswered by Putin was always fanciful. What the EU in particular has done is the reverse of what Theodore Roosevelt recommended as the key to effective diplomacy. It has spoken loudly while carrying a very small stick.
“The result was eminently predictable: annexation of Crimea and a long Russian shadow cast over the rest of the Ukraine.
“This was dunce’s diplomacy. Putin knows full well that the idea of the EU, even with American help, facing him down in his own backyard is ridiculous.
“The British public will be overwhelmingly against being drawn into a trial of strength that the West is bound to lose. We’d be better much off concentrating on building up our own depleted armed forces long-term and reducing our energy dependency on Russian gas so we can stand up for ourselves when essential British interests really are at stake.”