Ukraine PM calls for fresh sanctions on Russia after Navalny’s death

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 10:07 PM

By Tim Kelly

TOKYO (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prime minister urged the European Union and Japan on Tuesday to impose fresh economic sanctions on Russia after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The comments came after EU nations, such as Germany, Lithuania and Sweden, sought specific new penalties following Navalny’s death in a remote penal colony in Russia, while U.S. president Joe Biden also warned Moscow could face consequences.

“We ask to implement this sanction on economic issues, in economic spheres and in political spheres on personalities,” Denys Shmyhal told a press conference in Tokyo, where he met Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss reconstruction in Ukraine.

Shmyhal added that Kyiv looked forward to winning U.S. Congress backing of an aid package to provide military support for Ukraine forces faced with a lack of ammunition, especially long-range munitions, to help target Russian supply lines.

“We are fighting for democratic values for all the democratic world, this is an existential war of democracy against autocracy,” he said.

On Sunday, Russia said it had taken control of the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, its biggest gain since the fall of Bakhmut in May, coming almost two years to the day since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

That Russian success came as U.S. lawmakers continued to wrangle over a military aid package for Kyiv.

Mike Johnson, Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, has said his chamber will not rush to consider a $95.34-billion military aid package for Ukraine and Israel already passed by the Senate.

Japan’s government has pledged financial aid of more than $10 billion to Ukraine so far, but has not provided any military aid as it forbids the export of lethal weapons.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)