LONDON, March 10 — British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Wednesday called on the entire G7 to ban Russia oil imports, saying the world’s leading economies should “go further and faster” in punishing Moscow for invading Ukraine.
Standing alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Truss also hailed transatlantic unity against Russian aggression, saying the strength of the alliance has “surprised” President Vladimir Putin and that more must be done to assure his invasion fails.
“We must double down on our sanctions. That includes... the G7 ending its use of Russian oil and gas” and implementing a full ban on Russian banks using the SWIFT bank messaging system, Truss said in a joint press conference with Blinken at the State Department in Washington.
“Now is not the time to let up. Putin must fail,” she added.
The United States on Tuesday led a Western assault on Russia’s economic lifeline by banning imports of oil and gas, a move soon followed by Canada and a pledge from London to end the imports within the year.
Other Group of Seven members France, Germany, Italy and Japan have yet to make such a move, however, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cautioning Monday that a broad ban on Russian oil could put Europe’s energy security at risk.
But Truss insisted the West’s alliance against Russia’s autocratic leader, its economy and associated oligarchs was nevertheless working.
“We have surprised Putin with our unity and the toughness of our sanctions,” she said.
Blinken joined Truss in highlighting the comprehensive anti-Moscow cooperation, saying: “economically, the measures that we’ve taken have erased 30 years of progress integrating Russia into the world.”
He blasted Russia’s failure to ensure safe passage of civilians out of besieged Ukrainian cities and towns, and slammed as “absurd” the Kremlin’s proposal to create evacuation corridors that lead from Ukraine into Russia and its neighbor and ally Belarus.
“It’s offensive to suggest that Ukrainian people should seek refuge from the very government that has demonstrated such disregard for their lives,” Blinken said. — AFP