Kyiv, Apr 20 (EFE).- Western sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not be strong enough if they do not include an embargo on Russian oil and gas, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.
“We have to do everything in order to deprive Russia of all the fundings for this bloodshed,” Zelenskyy told a joint press conference with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, in Kyiv.
“We urge for the next powerful package of sanctions to be approved, we call for a complete embargo on Russian energy, without this the sanctions will be empty and not powerful enough,” Zelenskyy urged.
The president’s remarks came after a meeting with Michel, who was on a surprise visit to Kyiv intended to show solidarity with Ukraine over Russia’s invasion.
“Sooner or later we will target oil and gas, we have already decided that we want to stop our dependence on Russian gas and oil as soon as possible, we are working very hard, day to day,” Michel said.
Michel and Zelenskyy’s meeting comes two days after the Ukrainian leader filed a formal request to have his country recognized as a candidate for European Union membership.
“We discussed for two hours important issues such as sanctions, weapons, EU membership and money, these are all things we will need after our victory,” Zelenskyy said.
Michel said he would make Ukraine’s application to the EU a priority and speed up the process.
“I feel a very strong support in order to make sure that we can provide concrete support to Ukraine in your choice to follow this EU path in your own future,” Michel said.
Zelenskyy on Sunday handed a completed questionnaire requesting EU candidate status for Ukraine to the bloc’s ambassador to his country, Matti Massikas.
Kyiv hopes the request will be discussed at the next EU summit in June.
The unannounced visit by the former Belgian prime minister comes nearly two weeks after similar trips by the European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell.
Earlier in the day, Michel visited the town of Borodyanka, in the province of Kyiv, where Ukraine claims Russian troops carried out atrocities during the occupation.
“History will not forget the war crimes that have been committed here,” a statement shared on Michel’s official Twitter page read.
“There can be no peace without justice,” he added.
A number of European leaders have visited Kyiv since invading Russian troops withdrew from the region to refocus efforts in eastern Ukraine. EFE