The graves of local citizens, who died during the Russian invasion, are seen in front of residential buildings in the areas recaptured by the Ukrainian army in the city of Bucha on Saturday. Photo by Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA-EFE
April 3 (UPI) — Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said Sunday that Lithuania would become the first member of the European Union to refuse the import of Russian gas.
“From now and so on, Lithuania won’t be consuming a cubic centimeter of toxic Russian gas,” Šimonytė said in a tweet. “Lithuania is the first EU country to refuse Russian gas import.”
Her statement came as Charles Michel, president of the European Commission, said that the European Union will issue further sanctions on Russia after Ukraine’s Defense Ministry accused Russian forces of executing civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
“Shocked by haunting images of atrocities committed by Russian army in Kyiv liberated region,” Michel said in a tweet with the hashtag #BuchaMassacre.
“EU is assisting Ukraine and NGOs in the gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts. Further EU sanctions and support are on their way.”
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for further sanctions in a statement to Twitter on Sunday, stating that the “Bucha massacre was deliberate.”
“Russians aim to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can. We must stop them and kick them out. I demand new devastating G7 sanctions NOW,” Kuleba said.
Kuleba called for embargoes on oil, gas and coal as well as the closing of all ports to Russian vessels and goods and the disconnection of all Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network.
The United States with some European nations and Canada issued a joint statement the day after Russia invaded Ukraine announcing that Russia would be excluded from the SWIFT network, a high-security payment system that connects world banks.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it would impose new sanctions on Russian aerospace, marine and electronics sectors – adding to a growing list of penalized Russian oligarchs and entities.
“Russia not only continues to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine with its unprovoked aggression but also has escalated its attacks striking civilians and population centers,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.
“We will continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle, until this senseless war of choice is over.”
The new sanctions targets include Serniya, the largest maker of Russian computer chips. The company exports more than 50% of Russian microelectronics.
The U.S. House Committee for Oversight and Reform announced Monday that it had launched an investigation into global investment bank Credit Suisse over its alleged connections to Russian oligarchs.