Putin’s daughters targeted by Western sanctions
The US has imposed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, including his daughters.
The list also includes the family of Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, and major banks.
The measures follow new revelations of atrocities by Russian troops in Ukraine, including images of bodies of civilians scattered on the streets of Bucha, near the capital, Kyiv.
Russia said without evidence, the images were staged by Kyiv officials.
Even though satellite images have shown that civilians were killed when Russians were in control of Bucha, Mr Putin on Wednesday described the event as a “crude and cynical provocation by the Kyiv regime”.
Meanwhile, the UK has announced further sanctions against eight oligarchs and Russian banks, including the country’s largest, Sberbank, and Credit Bank of Moscow.
The European Union was also debating cutting off Russian coal imports as concern over alleged war crimes increased.
Before the new raft of sanctions were announced in Washington, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said he could not “tolerate any indecisiveness”.
Speaking to the Irish parliament on Wednesday, he said there was still a need to convince some in Europe who believed”war and war crimes were not as horrific as financial losses” to back tougher sanctions.
He added that “Russian oil cannot feed the Russian military machine”, with Ukraine’s foreign minister arguing on Twitter that an embargo on gas and oil was needed to truly impact Russia’s ability to finance the war.
Josep Borrell, the European Union (EU)’s chief diplomat, separately acknowledged on Wednesday that the one billion euros ($1.09bn; £833m) Europe spent on Russian energy every day put into sharp perspective the billion euros given to Ukraine in military assistance since the start of the invasion.
Some European member states, including Germany, were heavily reliant on Russian energy and had been reluctant to directly target the sector.
However, in a first, the European Commission proposed a potential ban on imports of Russian coal on Tuesday, which must be agreed by all 27 members. Europe buys around €4bn ($4.4bn; £3.3bn) worth of coal from Moscow every year.
Sentiments appeared to change after evidence of Russian war crimes emerged, with French President, Emmanuel Macron, joining calls for a ban on coal earlier this week. -BBC