Ukraine says US leading the charge on Russia sanctions

Ukraine says US leading the charge on Russia sanctions

The Ukrainian leader said that the US has spearheaded economic reprisals against Russia while the EU has lagged behind.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky said that the US is leading the charge on global sanctions against Russia, while EU nations have shown a lack of unity on the matter.

I think the United States of America is the accelerator of sanction policies and I think they do more than any other country," Zelensky told Fox News on Saturday.

This is the way it should be because they are the most powerful country right now. I think there is the same support for sanctions from the United Kingdom. The President said that the EU needs to take a united position on the matter. He noted that they don't have it with respect to certain sanctions.

Zelensky argued that the West should continue ramping up the pressure on Moscow and carefully assess which measures are working and which are not.

Russia is finding a way to circumvent them when they get some sanctions and each day they are finding a way to circumvent them, he said.

Since Russian troops entered Ukraine, western countries including NATO and EU have imposed harsh measures against Moscow, freezing assets and cutting its banks from the SWIFT payment system.

The restrictions were expanded last month, blacklisting more than 40 individuals and entities, including financial service companies.

The European Commission has proposed phasing out Russian gas by the year 2030, but stopped short of a ban on imports, despite pleas from Ukraine. Hungary, whose economy relies heavily on Russian energy, has threatened to veto an embargo on supplies from Moscow.

Russia has responded to the restrictions by requiring EU countries to pay for gas in rubles.

On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a phase-out of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022. Under the scheme, Hungary and Slovakia would be allowed to continue buying crude oil under existing contacts until the end of the year.

Since 2014 a total of 10,128 restrictions have been imposed on his country, more than against any other state in history, according to Speaker of the Lower House of Russia's parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin. Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, after Kiev didn't implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.