Ukrainian Zelenskiy says some in the West fear economic loss more than war crimes

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends an interview for Ukrainian media representatives, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 4, 2022. Picture taken April 4, 2022. Service Ukrainian presidential press release/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

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  • Call for tougher EU sanctions
  • Says some prioritizing financial losses over war crimes
  • Receive a standing ovation in the Irish Parliament

DUBLIN, April 6 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday accused some Western leaders of viewing financial losses as worse than war crimes, saying he could not tolerate indecision in the face of tough new Russian sanctions.

“When we hear new rhetoric on sanctions…I cannot tolerate any indecision after all that Russian troops have done,” he said in a speech to the Irish parliament on Wednesday.

“The only thing we lack is the principled approach of some leaders – political leaders, business leaders – who still believe that war and war crimes are not something as horrible as financial losses,” he added, speaking through an interpreter.

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Western gained some momentum for more sanctions this week after civilians shot at close range were found in the town of Bucha following a Russian withdrawal. But Europe has so far refrained from restricting imports of Russian gas on which countries in the region depend heavily.

Zelenskiy called on Dublin to convince its European Union partners to introduce “tougher” measures against Moscow.

kyiv and the West say there is evidence, including footage and testimony collected by Reuters and other media in Bucha, that the apparent executions were carried out by Russian soldiers.

The Kremlin denies its forces are responsible for the deaths and said on Tuesday Western allegations that Russian forces committed war crimes were a “monstrous fake”.

New US sanctions are expected to be unveiled on Wednesday. A new set of sanctions proposed by the EU would ban the purchase of Russian coal, prevent Russian ships from entering EU ports and suspend nearly 20 billion euros ($21.77 billion) from trade. Read more

Addressing a joint sitting of the two houses of the Irish parliament via video link, Zelenskiy accused Moscow of trying to “destroy the foundations of independent living, destroy our identity, everything that makes us Ukrainians”.

He also said Russia was deliberately causing a global food crisis that could lead to violence and a new wave of refugees.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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Reporting by Conor Humphries and Padraic Halpin; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Frank Jack Daniel

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