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Kyiv praises Boris for refusing to wait for EU to act after Brussels dithers on sanctions


The UK announced this week that it would phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year. The US, Canada and later Australia also joined the Russian oil and gas import embargo as the West seeks to squeeze Russia’s economy following its invasion of Ukraine. US President Joe Biden said the move targeted “the main artery of Russia’s economy”.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba praised Britain for acting as he called out the European Union for dithering because of its reliance on Russian gas and oil.

Speaking in Turkey, CNBC’s Hadley Gamble told Mr Kuleba: “The EU seemingly is very reluctant to ban oil imports. Do you think that is a mistake?”

The Ukraine official responded: “I have to first say I appreciate that the US, UK and Canada decided to go along with these sanctions without Europe when they realised that Europe is not ready to join them.”

He then turned on the EU, as he questioned whether Europe’s tough rhetoric on Russia was “just a trick”.

Mr Kuleba said: “Now I am curious to see whether the plan to phase out Russian gas and oil from the European market is a real one and what the timeline of that plan is.”

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The EU chief also outlined hopes to reduce usage by two-thirds in a year but added: “It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be hard.

“As I’ve already said, it needs the support of everybody.”

Poland had led calls within the bloc for an oil import ban, with one diplomat saying: “Billions are flowing to Russia via Nord Stream 1.

“These are billions for which today Ukrainians are paying with their own blood.”

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger echoed this: “We cannot afford a restraint because it means a concession to Vladimir Putin.

“That is what the Russian president wants. We need to send a signal to Putin that we plan to cut ourselves off all energy from Russia.”

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