Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged world leaders to impose more sanctions on Russia as a direct response to “a new wave of terror” after the Russian airstrike Monday.
At least 19 people have lost their lives and many more were injured as Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine.
The call for more sanctions from the President came after an emergency virtual meeting of G7 leaders following the missile attack.
Addressing the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, Zelensky commented that for this ” new wave of terrorism”, Russia should have “new responsibilities” and fresh sanctions.
He urged his fellow counterparts to put more political pressure on Russia as a show of support for Ukraine.
The G7 leaders vowed to provide Ukraine with “ financial, military, humanitarian, diplomatic and legal” support as long as the country needs them.
Zelensky commented that not just the G7 countries, but the entire democratic world should respond in a similar manner. As the Russian missile attacked the country’s energy fields, the world should respond by putting new sanctions on Russian oil and gas in order to disrupt their revenue stream. This can be done by imposing strict sanctions on more than 1,000 Russian oligarchs and by removing Russian banks from the international financial messaging system, Swift.
The US has blocked all Russian oil and gas imports, while the EU still depends on Russian energy for more than 40 % of its needs.
Zelensky said that there will be no discord with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, but he is open to negotiations with other heads of Russia, who will comply with and respect the UN Charter and the territorial integrity of Ukraine so that important decisions are not influenced by terror.
The G7 nations in a joint statement condemned the Russian missile strike that hit key cities and also the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territories such as Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson and vowed to never recognize these regions as part of the Russian Federation.
Zelensky also stated that the country’s recovery has only been delayed a bit due to the recent missile strikes and that the restoration process is going very quickly and effectively and that power and communication networks have been restored in many cities and villages, as there was a severe blackout due to the missile attack.
The missile attacks mostly hit non-military civilian areas such as parks, universities, and children’s playgrounds during rush hours, causing power blackouts in neighborhoods across the country.
Evidence of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers has been surfacing. On Tuesday, a mass grave was found in the recently liberated region of Lyman, Eastern Donetsk, where, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the military administration of Donetsk, there were more than 50 bodies found in the mass grave, which included both military and civilians.