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War in Ukraine – After the “genocide” of Boutcha, the EU plans sanctions against Moscow

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The Europeans, revolted by the images of corpses found in the vicinity of kyiv, are working out an increase in the sanctions against Moscow, accused of “genocide” in Ukraine.

The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, explained that Brussels was discussing “emergency” new sanctions against Moscow.

AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky castigated the Russian “murderers, torturers, rapists, looters” after the Russian withdrawal from Boutcha, in the northwestern suburbs of kyiv, and the discovery on the spot of a large number of bodies of civilians in mass graves or in the streets. The dissemination of these images revolted Westerners and the European Union (EU) was discussing, Monday morning, in “emergency” new sanctions against Moscow, demanded in particular by France and Germany, indicated the high representative of the EU, Josep Borrell.

The total death toll is still uncertain. According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova, the lifeless bodies of 410 civilians were found in the territories of the Kyiv region recently recaptured from Russian troops, who withdrew there to redeploy towards the east and the South.

AFP saw on Saturday the bodies of at least 22 people wearing civilian clothes in the streets of Boutcha, killed by “a bullet in the neck”, according to the mayor, Anatoli Fedorouk. Moscow has denied any abuse of its own and announced on Monday that it would investigate a “provocation” aimed at “discrediting” Russian forces in Ukraine. Russia has even requested a meeting of the UN Security Council to rule on the “hateful provocations” committed, according to it, by “Ukrainian radicals” in Boutcha.

kyiv wants ‘devastating’ sanctions

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Britain’s Martin Griffiths, arrived in Moscow on Sunday evening and was due to travel to kyiv, mandated to seek a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine. Until now, Russia has refused any visit by a senior UN official whose main subject is Ukraine.

Westerners now want to adopt new measures against Moscow, after having already acted on several sets of sanctions since February 24, and the start of the Russian invasion, massively targeting companies, banks, senior officials, oligarchs, and prohibiting export of goods to Russia.

What penalties? Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba framed his expectations in a tweet: “I demand devastating new G7 sanctions NOW: oil, gas and coal embargo, close all ports to Russian ships and goods , disconnect all Russian banks from SWIFT”.

Pressure on hydrocarbons

The pressure thus bears in particular on hydrocarbons, an important financial resource for Russia. As of Saturday, the Baltic States had announced the cessation of their importation of Russian gas, and the Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda, had called on the rest of the EU to follow them. The Baltic countries are now served by gas reserves stored underground in Latvia.

The United States banned the import of Russian oil and gas soon after the invasion of Ukraine, but not the EU, which was sourcing around 40% from Russia in 2021.

On the side of Moscow, we are already anticipating a possible increase in sanctions. “Sooner or later, we will have to establish a dialogue, whether someone across the Atlantic wants it or not,” stressed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

(AFP)

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