Russian action in Ukraine ‘apparently’ genocide, Europe ‘financing’ it: Cheney

Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, described Russia’s alleged war crimes in Ukraine as “clearly” a genocide, criticizing European countries for “funding” a “genocide campaign”.

Several international journalists have reported shootings of Ukrainian citizens with their hands tied to the back of their heads in areas Russia had occupied for several weeks. There have been reports of mass graves with hundreds of bodies, and President Joe Biden has declared his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”.

During a Sunday morning interview with CNN, Cheney was asked about Friday’s missile attack on a train station that killed dozens of Ukrainian civilians as they attempted to flee west.

“I think it’s clearly genocide,” Cheney replied. The Congressman continued, “Europe needs to understand and deal with the fact that you have a genocide campaign … I think the Europeans also need to understand that they are funding that genocide campaign.” I have economic consequences for countries in Western Europe if they impose the kind of oil and gas sanctions that the US has imposed against Russian oil and gas, but they need to do so.”

Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) accused Russia of “blatantly” committing “genocide” in Ukraine during an interview with CNN on Sunday. Above, Cheney speaks during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 28 in Washington, DC
Drew Anger / Getty Images

“We need to do everything we can to increase our domestic production to help make sure we can supply them for as long as possible,” Congress continued. “But they need to understand that every time, every single day that they continue to import Russian oil and gas – they are funding Putin’s genocide in Ukraine.”

newsweek A spokesman for the Russian Embassy as well as the European External Action Service was reached for comment. Western European countries have largely been aligned with the US in imposing tough financial sanctions against the Russian economy and the Moscow elite, but have been reluctant to sharply impose sanctions on Russian energy imports.

Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, oddly claiming that Ukraine was led by “neo-Nazis” and needed to be “de-Nazified”. In fact, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and had family members who perished in the Holocaust genocide by German Nazis in World War II. When Zelensky was elected in 2019 with nearly three-quarters of the vote, Ukraine’s prime minister was also Jewish.

Russia’s unprovoked aggression received intense and widespread international condemnation. In a historic vote of the United Nations General Assembly, 141 countries formally condemned Moscow’s actions against its eastern European neighbour. Only four countries—Belarus, Syria, Eritrea and North Korea—voted in favor of Russia. Last week, the General Assembly also voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Russia has said that the allegations of war crimes are not true. It has argued that many of the alleged war crimes are fake propaganda perpetrated by Ukraine, despite reports corroborating by several international journalists. Russia also accused Ukraine of committing genocide against Russian speakers in Ukraine.

The Kremlin’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said: “The special operation in Ukraine is the result of the Kyiv regime’s reluctance to stop the Russian genocide by fulfilling its obligations under international commitments.” newsweek In an interview published on Friday. There is little, if any, evidence to support this allegation. Zelensky himself is a native Russian speaker who was criticized by opponents for not speaking Ukrainian well when he ran for president.

As Cheney pointed out, European nations have been reticent to cut imports of Russian oil and gas. Europe is currently dependent on Russia for about 40 percent of its natural gas supply, Reuters reported. Last year, the European Union imported about $108 billion worth of energy from Russia, the country’s largest ever import. according to World Economic Forum.

While the US banned imports of Russian oil, it only accounted for about 8 percent of the country’s energy needs. The United Kingdom has said it will wean itself off Russian energy by the end of 2022, but other Western European countries have taken a less aggressive stance. However, Germany – the EU’s largest country by population – has said it is working to follow the British example.

“We are actively working to be independent of the import of [Russian] oil and we think we will be able to make it over the course of this year,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during Friday’s press conference.

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