“Doesn’t everything the Russia military has done to date warrant an oil embargo? Don’t phosphorous bombs warrant it?”
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy encouraged Western nations to impose tougher sanctions against Russia, including an oil embargo, to prevent Moscow from escalating its penalties against his country.
Mr. Zelenskiy stated in his nightly video address to Ukrainians that the West had misjudged last year in delaying sanctions, and that the invasion had followed as a result.
"A full-fledged conflict has erupted. There are now numerous signals and warnings that if Russia uses chemical weapons, greater measures, such as an embargo on Russian oil supplies to Europe, will be imposed "Mr. Zelenskiy continued, beating his hands on the table now and then.
"There are simply no words to describe it... We, the living, will have to wait. Isn't an oil embargo justified by what the Russian military has done so far? Isn't that what phosphorous bombs are for? Does a shelled chemical plant or a shelled nuclear power plant not justify it?"
Over 3.8 million Ukrainians have fled abroad as a result of Russia's month-long invasion of Ukraine, which has left thousands dead or injured and isolated Russia's economy.
Given Russia's activities thus far, Mr. Zelenskiy stated that penalties must be "effective and serious."
"If the sanctions packages are weak or do not operate well enough, if they can be bypassed, it gives the Russian leadership the hazardous notion that they will be allowed to continue doing what they are doing now," he said.
"Ukrainians are paying with their lives as a result of this. Thousands of people have died."
An embargo on Russian oil supplies has already been imposed by the US. However, Europe, which is significantly more reliant on Russian energy, has been more cautious. Germany, Europe's largest economy, has warned that imposing such a ban would result in a recession and enormous unemployment.