Two Ukrainian military helicopters were again targeted Wednesday by missiles from the Russian side of Ukraine’s border with Russia. The latest strikes come a day after fighting between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine escalated, prompting an emergency meeting at the United Nations Security Council
The “ukraine breaking news every 5 minutes today” is a problem that has been present for a while. There are at least 5 reported killed in missile strikes on southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, according to official.
Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Trade, meets with the media in Washington on Thursday, April 21. (Bloomberg/Getty Images/Cheriss May) )
A senior European Commission official and Lithuania’s finance minister warned on Friday that Europe is contemplating a sixth wave of sanctions against Russia, including a blow on Russia’s energy sector.
One of the possibilities under discussion, according to European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis, is an oil embargo. There has been talk of “smart sanctions,” which may entail levies rather than a complete embargo at first.
“So there may be some nuances,” Dombrovskis told reporters in Washington, DC, “but this effort is continuing.”
Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintar Skaist said she discussed a potential next batch of penalties with US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo in a separate interview with CNN in Washington.
“We’ve always offered to include the energy sector, particularly oil,” as well as “further penalties on Russia’s banking sector,” Skaist added.
According to Skaist, the punishments must be coordinated in order to be effective. “It won’t work if we don’t agree on sanctions collectively, the US and other Western allies,” she added.
“Technically speaking, sanction approval may be very rapid view, can be done in a matter of one or two days,” Dombrovskis added.
“The concern here is simply that sanctions need unanimity among member states, so those political conversations are going on in the background, and it’s critical to have a unanimous political accord,” he said.
Skaist said it was too early to predict when the next batch of penalties will be agreed upon. She pointed out that the sanctions have a short- and long-term goal: to bring Russian President Vladimir Putin to the negotiation table and to cripple Russia’s economy, preventing it from bolstering its military.
“We would like to believe that there would be no war in Europe if they are unable to strengthen their troops,” she stated.
Existing sanctions must be implemented, according to Dombrovskis, who said that they are working with EU member states as well as the international community.
“It’s true that not all countries have joined those Western sanctions,” he said, adding that Beijing is “hedging its bets” and that the US is attempting to persuade China and other countries “to be closer to our policy to Russia.”
Skaist said that they are also focused on assisting Ukraine’s administration in surviving in the near term, as well as how to reconstruct Ukraine more effectively in the long term, which she feels “should be intimately connected with Ukraine’s entrance to the European Union.”
Skaist and Dombrovskis both voiced worry about Putin’s potential future targets if he is not deterred in Ukraine.
Russia is attempting to exert its influence on surrounding nations, according to Skaist, and it’s “not the first time.”
“Russian propaganda, certain authorities, spokespeople are not making it a secret that Russia aims to move farther, and if we do not stop them in Ukraine, they will be invading other surrounding countries,” Dombrovskis warned, describing it as a threat to European security in general.
When asked whether Europe would react in the same way if Russia invaded Moldova, Dombrovskis stated they needed to concentrate on Ukraine right now because “Putin will go as far as we let him go.”
Kylie Atwood of CNN provided reporting to this piece.
The “odessa ukraine” is a city in southern Ukraine. At least 5 people have been killed in missile strikes on the city according to an official.
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