Lithuania calls for tougher sanctions against Russia as Ukraine war still ongoing

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Archive – President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda – Deml Ondej/CTK/dpa

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday called on the European Commission for Brussels to impose stronger sanctions against Russia, assuring that those enacted so far «basically» have not affected the Russian energy sector.

According to the Lithuanian president, the EU-27 need to «adjust their course» to exert more pressure on Moscow, which after ten months of war and sanctions «continues its invasion of Ukraine», according to the newspaper ‘Baltic Times’.

«Paradoxically, the sanctions policy is having the same impact on our economies, while the consequences for the Russian economy are, I would say, contradictory,» the Lithuanian president said at a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Vilnius.

«The (Romanian) president and I note that Gazprom’s financial results are far from being bad, because despite the fact that they sold much less gas, they managed to benefit from the sharp rise in gas prices,» Nauseda detailed.

For this reason, the Lithuanian president – who has always been in favor of bolder sanctions – called for an assessment of the impact of the common policy of sanctions against the Kremlin so far and for «adjusting» the course.

Specifically, he has urged Brussels to agree on a ninth package of sanctions to cover «the widest possible range of areas and individuals,» the newspaper reported.

«This should be a big step forward to include the military industry, to include the remaining Russian banks in the disruption and to include Rosatom, which is directly involved in this nuclear aggression against Ukraine. Not to mention the judges of the Constitutional Court and all others who are contributing to the actions of the criminal regime in Ukraine,» the Lithuanian leader has asserted.

«I hope that we will be able to take such a step and find a consensus among the member countries of the European Union,» he added.

The Romanian president assured that he shares the Lithuanian president’s position, reiterating that «tougher measures» should be taken against Russia.

«As for sanctions (…) we discussed this issue during our meeting. Tougher measures are needed from our side,» Iohannis has reiterated.

So far, the European Union has imposed eight sanctions packages against Russian oil exports and senior officials since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to attack Ukraine on February 24.