French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for more sanctions targeting Russian energy, in particular coal and oil, following reports that Russian forces committed war crimes against civilians in Ukraine.
“What just happened in Bucha requires a new set of sanctions and very clear measures,” Macron told radio station France Inter. “I’m in favor of having a sanctions package, especially on coal and oil, which we know are particularly painful. I want us to be able to act.”
Reports over the weekend that Russian forces massacred and raped Ukrainian civilians in villages and towns near Kyiv, including Bucha, prompted calls for tougher sanctions against Moscow.
Macron said France will “coordinate with our European partners, especially Germany,” but also “take additional individual measures.”
German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck on Sunday continued to rule out an immediate ban on Russian oil, gas and coal, saying the move would harm the EU more than Moscow.
But German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht called for a potential ban on Russian gas to be discussed at the EU level. “There has to be a response,” she said. “Such crimes must not remain unanswered.”
The bloc’s new sanctions package is expected to be discussed at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg on Monday and Tuesday, a French economy ministry official said Monday.
“All options are on the table,” the official said, adding that the European Commission may also use the meeting to brief ministers on “the avenues it is considering in terms of additional sanctions.”
Macron told France Inter there were “very clear indications of war crimes” in Bucha and that those responsible “will have to answer for them.”