Russia invades Ukraine, country braces for major Donbas offensive

Russia invades Ukraine, country braces for major Donbas offensive

 Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Sebastian Kofod speaks to media in the file photo from March 21, in the EU Council headquarters in Brussels. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

The European Union is “already discussing a sixth package of sanctions” in an effort “to keep increasing pressure on Russia to stop the war,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said Monday.

“From the Danish side, we will be willing to go as far as we can to find consensus on sanctions, including also on energy,” he told reporters when arriving for a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, said he was “happy that the European Commission was very clear that we’re starting to work on six package with oil options.”

“And I hope that this time, it works.”

Asked what more is needed from the EU, Landsbergis said it was “best to go to Kyiv, go to Irpin, go to Bucha and see for yourself why we need to impose the sanctions.”

Some background: Europe has imposed punishing sanctions on Russia’s economy after Putin’s tanks rolled into Ukraine in late February, but stopped short of targeting Russia’s energy sector.

But images of unarmed civilians, bound and shot, lying along the roads of Bucha — a town that was until recently under Russian occupation — appear to have convinced leaders to change tack.

Russia’s oil and gas could be the next target. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU lawmakers last week that the fifth round of sanctions “will not be [the] last.”

“Yes, we’ve now banned coal, but now we have to look into oil,” she said.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that the EU needed to take a “maximalist approach to sanctions to offer the strongest possible deterrent to the continuation of this war and brutality.”

The view of the Irish Government that further sanctions should include oil, he said.

War crimes investigated: The European Union’s High Representative Joseph Borell confirmed that European Foreign Ministers will also discuss how to better support the International Criminal Court in investigating war crimes committed in Ukraine.


Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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