Ukraine Seeks Ruinous Sanctions Against Russia Amid European Hesitation

  • EU rejects sanctions amid questions about coal ban
  • US imposes sanctions on Russian banks and daughters of Putin
  • Zelenskiy presses Western leaders to do more on sanctions

LVIV, Ukraine, April 7 (Reuters) – Ukraine wants sanctions that are economically destructive enough for Russia to end its war after accusing some countries of continuing to prioritize money over punishment for killings of civilians that the West condemns as war crimes.

The democratic world must reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international financial system, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily video address Thursday morning. Read more

After lurid images of dead civilians on the streets of Bucha sparked international condemnation, Zelenskiy said Kremlin forces were trying to cover up evidence of atrocities.

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“We have information that the Russian military has changed its tactics and is trying to get people who have died out of the streets and cellars… this is just an attempt to hide the evidence and nothing more,” Zelenskiy said, but did not provided evidence.

Moscow has denied targeting civilians and says the images of the bodies in Bucha were staged to justify further sanctions against Moscow and derail peace talks. Read more

Russia’s six-week invasion has so far forced more than 4 million to flee abroad, killed or injured thousands, left a quarter of the population homeless, turned cities into rubble and caused a series of of Western restrictions on Russian elites and the economy.

Washington on Wednesday announced measures, including sanctions on the two adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Sberbank (SBER.MM), and a ban on Americans investing in Russia.

The United States also wants Russia kicked out of the Group of 20 major economies forum and will boycott a series of G20 meetings in Indonesia if Russian officials show up. Read more

But the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said Wednesday night that his allies must go further.

“Sanctions against Russia must be ruinous enough for us to end this terrible war,” he said.

“My goal is to impose an embargo on the supply to Russia of technology, equipment, minerals and ores (and) dual-use rare earth minerals and thus stop the production of weapons in Russia.”

Zelenskiy has previously criticized some in the West.

“The only thing missing is the principled approach of some leaders … who still think war and war crimes are not as horrible as financial loss,” he told Irish lawmakers. Read more

European Union diplomats did not approve new sanctions on Wednesday as technical issues needed to be addressed, even if the coal ban would affect existing contracts, the sources said.

EU member Hungary said it was prepared to comply with a Russian request to pay rubles for its gas, breaking ranks with the rest of the bloc and highlighting the continent’s reliance on imports that has prevented a tougher response from the Kremlin. .

State-owned refiners in China, which has close ties to Moscow, are honoring existing Russian oil contracts but avoiding new ones despite deep discounts, heeding Beijing’s call for caution as Western sanctions against Russia tighten, they said. six people to Reuters. Read more

besieged city

Western politicians have denounced the Bucha killings as war crimes, and Ukrainian authorities say a mass grave next to a church contained between 150 and 300 bodies.

Russia says it is involved in a “special military operation” designed to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and Western governments reject it as a false pretext for their invasion.

Russia continues to prepare for an attack to gain full control of the breakaway eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the beleaguered southern port of Mariupol, where tens of thousands are trapped, the Ukrainian armed forces general staff said on Wednesday. the night.

Ukrainian authorities say they cannot help people evacuate the town of Izyum, on the eastern front line, or send humanitarian aid because it is completely under Russian control, as the east is the scene of the worst fighting.

Many in the eastern city of Derhachi, just north of Kharkiv and close to the Russian border, have decided to leave while they can.

The buildings have been badly damaged by Russian artillery. Kharkiv itself has been hit by air and rocket attacks since the beginning.

Mykola, a father of two in Derhachi who declined to give his last name, said he could hear the noise of shelling every night and had been huddled with his family in the hallway of their home.

“(We’ll go) where there are no explosions, where the children don’t have to hear them,” she said, hugging her young son and fighting back tears.


The new US sanctions hit Russia’s Sberbank, which holds a third of Russia’s total banking assets, and Alfabank, the country’s fourth-largest financial institution, but energy transactions were exempted, US officials said.

The bank sanctions are “a direct blow to the Russian population (and) ordinary citizens,” the Tass news agency quoted Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, as saying.

Britain also froze the assets of Sberbank and said it would ban imports of Russian coal by the end of the year.

But Europe is walking a tightrope as Russia supplies around 40% of the EU’s natural gas consumption and the bloc also gets a third of its oil imports from Russia, some $700m a day.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy that relies on Russian gas for much of its energy needs, warned that while it supported ending Russian energy imports as soon as possible, it could not do so overnight. Read more

Despite sanctions, the Russian ruble extended recovery gains on Wednesday, returning to levels seen before the invasion, shrugging off fears of a potential international debt default as it paid off bondholders in dollars in rubles.

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Additional reporting from Reuters bureaus; Written by Costas Pitas and Lincoln Feast; Edited by Grant McCool, Jacqueline Wong and Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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