VILNIUS - The European Union cannot procrastinate the adoption of the sixth package of sanctions for Russia, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
This package must be adopted immediately and must include an embargo on Russian oil, he said during a video conference on Thursday, adding that a seventh sanction package must be on the EU table.
The conference was held to prepare for next week's extraordinary European Council meeting in Brussels on May 30-31. The meting will focus on assistance to Ukraine and its reconstruction plan, energy, food security and the European Union's security and defense policy, the presidential press service said.
The EU is currently discussing an already sixth package of sanctions for Russia as it is waging war against Ukraine. The new sanctions would include a ban on Russian oil imports, but the talks are being stalled by opposition from Hungary as it says it will not support an embargo because of its over-reliance on the resource.
Speaking on Ukraine, the Lithuanian president said Lithuania was in favor of using frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine. Nauseda also stressed that political support for Ukraine remains important, and he, therefore, calls for granting Ukraine EU candidate status as soon as possible.
Speaking on energy issues, Nauseda said the EU should achieve full energy independence from Russia. This, he said, requires EU member states' political will and appropriate decisions, including those on the diversification of energy sources, investment in renewable energy, and filling gas storage facilities.
Nauseda said export of Ukrainian grain was another issue that required swift decisions.
"Russia is using Ukraine's grain exports as a manipulative tool in its war. Unblocking the port of Odessa should be the primary objective, but Lithuania is ready to provide its railway infrastructure and seaport to ensure that Ukrainian grain exports do not stop going through Poland," he said.