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Liz Truss heaped pressure on EU and other Western leaders to cut Russian oil and gas out of their economies today, accusing them of funding Vladimir Putin‘s criminal army in Ukraine. 

She used a Warsaw press conference alongside her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to promise more weapons for Kyiv and a fresh wave of economic sanctions.

It came amid global revulsion at war crimes committed by Russian troops in the city of Bucha that were revealed at the weekend after they were forced out. 

Some countries including Germany have shown a reluctance to wean themselves off Putin’s power, with Berlin’s finance minister Christian Lindner today rejecting a European Union embargo on gas imports.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing coalition appears at odds over a ban on Russian energy imports and pressure is mounting on European leaders to impose more punitive sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s government in the face of mounting evidence of atrocities against Ukrainian civilians by the Russian army. 

She said: ‘It is the responsibility of the UK and our allies, and that’s what Dmytro and I have discussed today, to step up our support for our brave Ukrainian friends.

‘That means more weapons and more sanctions. Putin must lose in Ukraine. Later this week the G7 foreign ministers and the Nato foreign ministers will meet. We need to announce a tough new wave of sanctions.

‘The reality is that money is still flowing from the West into Putin’s war machine – and that has to stop.’

Mr Kuleba added that ‘Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv but the war goes on’, as he warned there were worse horrors committed by Russian forces than those witnessed in Bucha. 

She used a Warsaw press conference alongside her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to promise more weapons for Kyiv and a fresh wave of economic sanctions.

She used a Warsaw press conference alongside her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to promise more weapons for Kyiv and a fresh wave of economic sanctions.

She used a Warsaw press conference alongside her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to promise more weapons for Kyiv and a fresh wave of economic sanctions.

It came amid global revulsion at war crimes committed by Russian troops in the city of Bucha that were revealed at the weekend after they were forced out.

It came amid global revulsion at war crimes committed by Russian troops in the city of Bucha that were revealed at the weekend after they were forced out.

It came amid global revulsion at war crimes committed by Russian troops in the city of Bucha that were revealed at the weekend after they were forced out.

A Ukrainian policeman walks by a pit in the village of Motyzhyn, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022 where the bodies of the mayor of the village, Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son and that of a man believed to be a Ukrainian serviceman, who was not yet identified, lie

A Ukrainian policeman walks by a pit in the village of Motyzhyn, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022 where the bodies of the mayor of the village, Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son and that of a man believed to be a Ukrainian serviceman, who was not yet identified, lie

A Ukrainian policeman walks by a pit in the village of Motyzhyn, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022 where the bodies of the mayor of the village, Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son and that of a man believed to be a Ukrainian serviceman, who was not yet identified, lie

President Zelensky appears shattered after visiting Bucha to see the bodies of the dead, describing what has happened in the region as 'genocide' and a 'war crime'

President Zelensky appears shattered after visiting Bucha to see the bodies of the dead, describing what has happened in the region as 'genocide' and a 'war crime'

President Zelensky appears shattered after visiting Bucha to see the bodies of the dead, describing what has happened in the region as ‘genocide’ and a ‘war crime’

Some countries including Germany have shown a reluctance to wean themselves off Putin's power, with Berlin's finance minister Christian Lindner today rejecting a European Union embargo on gas imports.

Some countries including Germany have shown a reluctance to wean themselves off Putin's power, with Berlin's finance minister Christian Lindner today rejecting a European Union embargo on gas imports.

Some countries including Germany have shown a reluctance to wean themselves off Putin’s power, with Berlin’s finance minister Christian Lindner today rejecting a European Union embargo on gas imports.

Kyiv officials say the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been uncovered so far, including 57 from a mass grave in the centre of the city of Bucha – the scene of heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces. The bodies had been rolled into a 45ft pit dug in the grounds of a grand Orthodox church.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has described what happened in Bucha, to the west of Kyiv, as ‘genocide’ of the Ukrainian people. He was joined by Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who also described the killings as ‘genocide’ and called for those responsible to be held accountable.

Boris Johnson was among other world leaders denouncing ‘war crimes’ committed in Ukraine, while vowing to send funding and investigators to help lead a probe into the atrocities at The Hague. Joe Biden, speaking today, called the scenes in Bucha ‘outrageous’, branded Putin a ‘war criminal’ and said he must face trial.

Ms Truss said she would be working with allies to go further banning Russian ships from western ports, cracking down on Russian banks, going after new industries ‘filling Putin’s war chest, like gold’ and to agree ‘a clear timetable to eliminate our imports of Russian oil, gas and gold’.

She also called for further weapons to be supplied to Ukraine to combat Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Ms Truss said: ‘We also need even more weapons of the type the Ukrainians are asking for.

‘The fact is that being tough is the only approach that will work. Putin has escalated this war and this approach is vital to ensuring he loses in Ukraine and that we see a full withdrawal of Russian troops and Ukraine’s hand is strengthened at the negotiating table.’

Lindner suggested that instead of a general ban on all energy imports from Russia, the EU could look separately at oil, coal and gas, as alternative suppliers for each of the fossil fuels could be found at varying speeds. 

‘We are dealing with a criminal war,’ Lindner said before talks with his EU colleagues in Brussels. ‘It is clear we must end as quickly as possible all economic ties to Russia. We must plan tough sanctions, but gas cannot be substituted in the short term. We would inflict more damage on ourselves than on them. 

After years of prospering from Russian energy imports, Germany is convulsed by a debate over how to unwind a business relationship that critics say is financing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia supplies 40 per cent of Europe’s gas needs.

Germany has tightened sanctions on Russian executives, politicians, technical goods and financial flows, but has stopped short of blocking oil, gas and coal, saying that would hurt Germany more than the Kremlin.

Economic analysts have said Germany will face a steep recession if it stops importing Russian energy. 

 Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday that the European Union must discuss banning the import of Russian gas after Ukrainian and European officials accused Russian forces of committing atrocities near Kyiv, raising hopes that Germany was rethinking it opposition to a ban.

But Economy Minister Robert Habeck said he opposes an immediate ban on Russian fossil fuel imports.

‘We are working every day to create the preconditions and the steps toward an embargo,’ Habeck said during a news conference on Monday, adding that this approach ‘harms Putin daily’.

Markus Soeder, the conservative premier of the wealthy state of Bavaria, criticised the government for what he said was an ideological focus on switching only to wind and solar while pushing ahead with plans to shut down the last nuclear power plants this year.

‘We need five nuclear power stations for another five years and a pipeline from southern Europe to southern Germany,’ he said. ‘We need to look into fracking.’ 

Source: Daily Mail

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