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Ukraine PM Calls for Fresh Sanctions on Russia After Navalny’s Death

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.

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BAKHMUT REGION, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 3: The Ukrainian military fires RPGs at enemy positions as the special military unit "Kurt & Company group" hold the first line of the frontline Russian-Ukrainian war on November 3, 2023 in Bakhmut District, Ukraine, the frontline of the Russian Ukrainian war. Ukrainian forces continue to fight to retake Bakhmut, which was captured by Russian forces in May, following a yearlong war battle. Over the summer, Ukraine regained territory north and south of Bakhmut but Russia has held the city itself. (Photo by Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)

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.

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Drum majors from the Mississippi Valley State University marching band parade down Jackson Ave during the traditional Krewe of Zulu Parade on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

“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)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters.

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