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US officially identifies Russia as committing war crimes in Ukraine

The US says it has officially determined that the Russian military committed war crimes in Ukraine, pointing to atrocities including “willful indiscriminate attacks on civilians” carried out during the invasion. Invasion of Vladimir Putin.

Antony Blinken, secretary of state, said the Biden administration had made its assessment based on a “careful review” of information from public and intelligence sources. He added that it would be up to the court to determine “criminal in specific cases”.

Blinken in particular notes an attack on a theater in Mariupol clearly marked with the Russian word for “children” as well as an attack on a maternity hospital. was killed a pregnant woman and her baby. The US will continue to collect information about attacks and share them with allies and international organisations, he added.

US makes official assessment a week after President Joe Biden called Putin “War criminal” in his harshest rebuke to the Russian president.

The war crimes accusations came as Biden traveled to Europe to meet NATO and G7 leaders in Brussels to discuss the ally’s response to the war.

The US is pressing Europe to join by warning China not to provide military support to Russia or help Moscow evade sanctions, as the West’s approach to Beijing emerges as an important focus. during Mr. Biden’s upcoming talks with European leaders.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One before the president’s arrival in Brussels, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said Washington had not seen evidence of Beijing providing military support to Russia. The US hopes it can agree with its European allies on Beijing ahead of next week’s EU summit with China.

“We have sent a clear message to China about the implications and consequences of any action. . . Sullivan said. “We expect that [European leaders] will convey similar messages in their top-level dealings with the Chinese government.

The same goes for systematic efforts to weaken, weaken or circumvent the sanctions regime that we have put in place, he added.

Biden’s national security adviser also noted that the G7’s sanctions enforcement initiative, which aims to limit the imposition of sanctions, would apply to China in the same way it does to China. “every major economy”.

Struggling with sanctions evasion and loopholes in existing measures will likely be the main focus of any joint action this week, US and EU officials said.

However, Mr. Sullivan added that the US would announce a new package of individual sanctions targeting other Russian officials and financiers.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the US, said China opposes sanctions against Russia and is advocating for dialogue.

“Sanctions only exacerbate tensions,” he said. “Sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions will only make people suffer.”

The US is not pressing the EU to comply with the Russian energy import ban but is expected to agree on a common strategy to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Mr. Sullivan said the United States would look to “increase” supplies of liquefied natural gas to Europe, “not just over the course of a few years, but over many months.” The ability to do so, he added, will “evolve over time”.

Biden’s trip comes as Ukrainian forces have gained some momentum around Kyiv and have repelled Russian forces in some areas, according to a senior US defense official.

The Russian army is currently located about 55 kilometers east and northeast of Kyiv, having moved about 30 kilometers away in recent days.

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