Western allies agree on imposing new sanctions on Russia: Italy

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Allied leaders of countries, including the United States, Canada and the European Union, on Tuesday, agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia as hostilities in Ukraine continue, Italy announced.

“Broad consensus was expressed on the need to step up pressure on the Kremlin, including through the adoption of further sanctions, and to increase Moscow’s international isolation,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said in a statement after a video conference between the leaders.

They shared “strong concern” on continued hostilities in Ukraine and the need for a cease-fire as soon as possible to “put an end to the suffering of the population,” according to the statement.

The leaders also “confirmed the importance of close coordination” on supporting Ukraine “in all its aspects,” especially by contributing to its budget.

A common commitment was also reaffirmed on diversifying energy sources to reduce dependence on Russian supplies.

The participants in the conference were U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, President of the European Council Charles Michel, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

As Moscow launches a “new phase of the war” in Ukraine, Russian forces are intensifying their offensive against Ukraine’s entire eastern front on Tuesday as part of a full-scale ground offensive to take control of the country’s eastern industrial heartland.

Russia launched its long-awaited all-out assault on eastern Ukraine, unleashing thousands of troops in what Ukraine described as the “Battle of Donbass,” a campaign to seize two provinces and salvage a battlefield victory.

Ukrainian officials insisted their troops would withstand the new assault, which they said began overnight with massive Russian artillery and rocket barrages and attempts to advance across almost the entire stretch of the eastern front.

Ukraine’s general staff said Russian forces are focusing their efforts on taking full control of the Donbass region. “The occupiers attempted to break through our defenses along nearly the entire front line,” the general staff said in a statement early Tuesday.

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