You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

EU promises new sanctions, Russian war crimes tribunal in Kyiv summit

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 2/3/2023 Patrick Hilsman & Darryl Coote

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- European leaders gathered for a summit with Ukrainian officials in Kyiv on Thursday in an effort to address Ukraine's repeated calls on the international community for more assistance to fend off Russia.

Speaking alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the 27-nation bloc to "correct" what he described as a slowing down of the pace of sanctions against Moscow.

"The terrorist state on the contrary is adapting to the sanctions and we need to catch up," he said.

In her own remarks, von der Leyen said an EU cap on Russian oil prices already costs Moscow more than $174 million per day and said the EU was committed to "turning up the pressure further."

"We will introduce, with our G7 partners, an additional price cap on Russian petroleum products. And by Feb. 24, exactly one year since the invasion started, we aim to have the 10th package of sanctions in place," she said.

"Russia will also have to pay for the destruction it caused and will contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine."

Additionally, von der Leyen said an international center for the prosecution of war crimes would be set up in The Hague.

"It will coordinate the collection of evidence, it will be embedded in the joint investigation team which is supported by our agency Eurojust," she said.

Earlier this month the European Parliament passed a resolution to create a tribunal to address war crimes during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The European Union also pledged to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, said Josep Borrell -- the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

"Russia brought war back to Europe, but Ukraine keeps fighting back. Glad to announce to PM Denys Shmyhal that EU Military Assistance Mission #EUMAM will Tain additional 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, taking the total number of EUMAM trained personnel to 30,000," Borrell tweeted Thursday.

The European Council, which defines the EU's political direction and priorities, also announced Thursday a seventh assistance package for Ukraine amounting to $542 million.

The content of the package was not detailed.

Another $49 million was also announced to support training efforts of the European Union Military Assistance Mission of Ukraine, the aim of which is to provide Kyiv with necessary non-lethal equipment and supplies as well as training and services.

"Ukraine should get all the necessary military equipment and training it needs to defend its territory and its people from Russia's war of aggression," Borrell said in a statement.

"They are not just defending their country; they are also defending our common values and the basic principles of international law."

With the commitment, the EU has contributed some $3.9 billion to Ukraine under its European Peace Facility.

"I am thankful for the EU's vital security assistance, which brings us closer to defeating the Russian aggression," Ukraine's minister of foreign affairs Dmytro Kuleba tweeted after the packages were announced.

The EU and its allies have been arming Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, 2022. Kyiv has continued to call for advanced weaponry to defend itself from the invasion.

After receiving commitments for tanks, Kyiv has now turned to securing a fleet of F-16 fighters to reclaim its skies and protect civilian infrastructure from Russian strikes.

The United States, Ukraine's largest backer, has signaled an unwillingness to donate the fighter jets but others have softened to the idea.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, which has voiced opposition to giving Ukraine jets, told reporters Thursday during a briefing that no weaponry has been ruled out of bounds.

"On the question of jest, one thing I've learned over the last year is don't rule anything in, don't rule anything out," he said, The Guardian reported.

"That is the simple reality. We respond to the needs of the Ukrainians at the time, based on what the Ukrainians tell us, what we see in intelligence, in our knowledge of the Russian on the battlefield."

Shelling injured at least five people after at least three people were killed in a Russian strike on a residential building in the eastern city Wednesday, Donetsk regional governor Pablo Kyrylenko said, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Two people were also killed by Russian shelling in the southern city of Kherson, officials said.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech in the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, according to The New York Times.

Putin compared Russia's war in Ukraine to the struggle against Nazi Germany and laid flowers at a monument dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who died resisting the Nazi invasion in World War II.

"The legacy of generations, values and traditions -- this is all what makes us strong and confident in ourselves and in our victory," Putin said.


Read More


UPI News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon