Ukraine ambassador calls on EU leaders to embrace ‘economic sacrifices’ over Russian oil

Ukraine ambassador calls on EU states to ‘make sacrifices’

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Ukraine’s ambassador to European Union, Vsevolod Chentsov has called on European countries to be willing to shoulder the “economic sacrifices” necessary to rally behind a ban on Russian oil imports. The bloc has been at loggerheads over attempts to agree on a total Russian oil embargo following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February. EU members Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria have all called for a delay in implementing the ban over energy concerns. 

Ambassador Chentsov told Euronews: “We think this solidarity, which is declared, should be converted into action.

“So far, the European Union has been quite united on sanctions.

“We hope this crisis on the oil embargo will be overcome.”

“We expect decision-makers in Hungary, in other countries, they’re human, they understand what’s going on in Ukraine.

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“They themselves could see the level of atrocities around Kyiv and other cities,” he added.

“So in order to stop Russia, I think, EU member states should be also ready for certain sacrifices, including economic sacrifices.”

The ambassador continued: “The message is very clear: there will no business as usual with Russia. T

“They need to move fast and to also be very practical and precise [about] what kind of technical solution they need to solve the issue of alternative supplies, and move forward with this package of sanctions.”

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It comes as Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops north and northeast of Kharkiv, pressing a counter-offensive that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardise Russia’s main advance.

Tetiana Apatchenko, press officer for the 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, the main Ukrainian force in the area, confirmed that Ukrainian troops had recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, in a pocket north of Kharkiv in recent days.

Yuriy Saks, an adviser to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said the successes were pushing Russian forces out of range of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.

“The military operations of the Ukrainian armed forces around Kharkiv, especially north and northeast of Kharkiv, are sort of a success story,” Saks told Reuters. “The Ukrainian army was able to push these war criminals to a line beyond the reach of their artillery.”

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The counterattack could signal a new phase in the war, with Ukraine now going on the offensive after weeks in which Russia mounted a massive assault without making a breakthrough.

By pushing back Russian forces who had occupied the outskirts of Kharkiv since the start of the invasion, the Ukrainians are moving into striking distance of the rear supply lines sustaining the main Russian attack force further south.

“They’re trying to cut in and behind the Russians to cut off the supply lines, because that’s really one of their (the Russians’) main weaknesses,” said Neil Melvin of the RUSI think-tank in London.

“Ukrainians are getting close to the Russian border. So all the gains that the Russians made in the early days in the northeast of Ukraine are increasingly slipping away.”

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