The European Union is considering a ban on all coal imports from Russia in what would be the first sanctions aimed at Moscow’s lucrative energy revenues for its war in Ukraine.
The EU is determined to tighten sanctions against Russia amid emerging evidence of mass killings of Ukrainian civilians by invading Russian forces, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday. The Mayor said there was “total determination” from the 27 European Union countries for tougher sanctions targeting oil and coal. Europe’s reliance on Russian oil, natural gas and coal had sidelined energy sanctions as the whole continent feared it was slipping into recession.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to address the UN Security Council Tuesday amid a growing global chorus condemning Russia for its brutal tactics in Ukraine.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, addressing a forum of mayors organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, urged countries to stop all business with Russia “because every euro, every penny they receive from Russians – or what you send to Russia – has Ukrainian blood on it.”
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►Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev called the civilian death report propaganda, saying Ukrainian forces killed their own people “in an effort to dehumanize Russia and tarnish its image as much as possible “.
► European Commission: President Ursula von der Leyen will travel to kyiv this week to meet Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.
► The war will have a global economic impact far beyond Europe: A World Bank report published on Tuesday predicts slower growth and increased poverty in Asia in the coming months due to disruptions in the world. supply of raw materials, financial tensions and rising prices.
►The Ukrainian government says 18 journalists have been killed and 13 injured in the country since the start of the war. In addition, eight were abducted or taken prisoner and three are missing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should emphasize the discovery of bodies over 400 civilians found in cities of kyiv region recently recaptured from Russian forces when he pleaded for more weapons and tougher sanctions before the UN Security Council. Germany and France have already responded by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies. Biden has said Russian leader Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes.
The UN body will also receive a briefing from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday. UN officials are trying to organize a ceasefire.
“It’s very difficult to conduct negotiations when you see what they did (to Bucha),” Zelenskyy said, adding that “dead people were found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured” in the suburbs and elsewhere.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU needed to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying banning coal imports would cost $4.4 billion a year. She added that the EU had already started working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports.
Von der Leyen did not mention natural gas. A consensus among the 27 member countries of the EU on the targeting of gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and the energy industry would be more difficult to obtain.
A group of Harvard University students have created a website to help Ukrainian refugees find housing around the world.
Ukrainetakeshelter.com, created by Avi Schiffmann and Marco Burstein, encourages anyone with space in their home to post an ad. Refugees and hosts must provide identity verification through a government-issued ID card or passport. More than 18,000 potential hosts have registered on the site. Recently, Burstein and Schiffman registered 800,000 users.
Burstein said he, Schiffman and Irish software engineer Daniel Conlon were “blown away” by the response.
“We’ve heard all kinds of amazing stories from connected hosts and refugees all over the world,” Burstein said. “We have hosts in almost every country you can imagine, from Hungary and Romania to Poland, Canada and Australia.”
Credible reports of torture, rape and civilian executions in Ukraine are unlikely to be by rogue soldiers, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.
“They are part of a larger, troubling campaign,” he told a State Department briefing.
Price said the world was shocked by “the horrific images of Kremlin brutality” in Bucha and other towns near Kyiv. Civilians, many of whom had their hands tied, were reportedly executed in the streets.
Others were thrown into mass graves. As they retreated, the Russians also left behind landmines and booby traps to injure more Ukrainians and slow their recovery, Price said.
The apparent atrocities will be one of the topics of discussion when Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets his NATO counterparts in Belgium this week.
Allies are already discussing additional penalties and ways to help Ukraine document war crimes for criminal prosecution, Price said. The United States provided both money and manpower to help Ukraine’s attorney general build a case.
Atrocities near Kyiv spark global outrage. Will this be a tipping point in the war?
The German president admits policy errors towards Russia in his former post as foreign minister. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has served as foreign minister twice, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and has continued dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin to cultivate energy ties. Russia supplies Germany with about a third of its oil and gas and more than half of its coal.
Ukrainian and Polish officials criticized Steinmeier for being too close to Russia. The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin boycotted a peace concert with Russian artists organized by Steinmeier. Steinmeier told ZDF television on Tuesday that “we have failed on many counts”, including efforts to encourage Russia towards democracy and respect for human rights.
Contribute: The Associated Press