Liz Truss: We must inflict ‘new wave’ of punishments on Vladimir Putin after Bucha atrocities

Mr Kuleba invited those reluctant to impose sanctions for economic reasons to visit Bucha, after Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, blamed the refusal by Angela Merkel, the former German chancellor, to let Ukraine join Nato in 2008 for the atrocity.

Mrs Merkel on Monday rejected the criticism of what Mr Zelensky called her 14 years of “the policy of concessions” to Russia.

“Being tough is the only approach that will work,” Ms Truss said in Poland.

She called for Western leaders to agree to a timetable to end Kremlin-controlled oil, coal and gas imports in Europe, a ban on Russian ships stopping in ports, and a further crackdown on Russian banks and industries.

No sanctions could be lifted while there were Russian boots in Ukraine, she said ahead of meetings of Nato and G7 foreign ministers in Brussels this week.

EU ambassadors will hold talks on Wednesday on possible new sanctions, which require the unanimous support of all 27 member states.

Germany ‘main roadblock’ in imposing EU ban

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, accused Germany of being the “main roadblock” in imposing an EU ban on Russian gas imports. Warsaw will ban all Russian oil, gas and coal imports by the end of the year.

Christian Lindner, Germany’s finance minister, said, “We have to isolate Russia, we have to cut all economic relations, but at the moment it’s not possible to cut the gas supplies […] we would inflict more damage on ourselves than on them.”

Germany has promised to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by mid-2024. Russian gas made up to 55 per cent of its imports by the time of the February 24 invasion.

Berlin said it was temporarily taking control of Russian gas giant Gazprom’s German subsidiary to secure energy supply and critical infrastructure amid fears Moscow could turn off the taps.

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