EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has confirmed the bloc is poised to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking in Skopje during a visit to the North Macedonian capital on Monday, the EU’s top diplomat accused Moscow of targeting civilians in its war against Ukraine, noting that “more than” 2,400 civilians had died in the besieged port city of Mariupol alone.
“Putin’s war is not only about Ukraine, it’s about security and stability of our European continent. It affects all of us,” Borrell said, adding that another package of sanctions targeting Russia’s steel, coal, and energy sectors, as well as its market access and membership in international financial institutions.
“This will be another major blow to the economic and logistic base upon which the Kremlin is building the invasion and taking the resources to finance it,” Borrell said. He gave no further details.
Some of the most severe fighting is taking place in Mariupol, a major port city in eastern Ukraine, where Russian forces have shelled a maternity ward and blasted apartment buildings, leaving the city in ruins.
The unceasing barrages into the city have also thwarted repeated attempts to bring in food and water and evacuate tens of thousands of trapped civilians.
Russia on Monday said it had created conditions to open humanitarian corridors and that a mass evacuation of people had begun.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said a convoy had been trying to reach the city to deliver aid and help evacuate women and children, but, as with similar attempts over the past week, that as of early in the afternoon it had not been able to reach the city.