Moscow Doesn’t Rule out Breaking Off Relations With Western Countries

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The latest on the RussiaUkraine crisis, April 7. Click here for updates from April 6.

Moscow Doesn’t Rule out Breaking Off Relations With Western Countries

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that if Western countries continue to expel Russian diplomats, Russia may cut ties with those countries, RT reported.

“There is such a potential risk, since every day we are faced with such hostile actions. The expulsion of diplomats is a decision that closes the window of diplomatic relations,” Peskov said.

Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany, and France expelled a total of 145 Russian diplomats in two days.

Thes diplomats were expelled shortly after reports that Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, were allegedly killed by the Russian military.

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US Senate to Vote on Revoking Russia’s Trade Status, Oil Ban

The U.S. Senate will take up legislation Thursday to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban the importation of its oil, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday.

Both bills have been bogged down in the Senate, frustrating lawmakers who want to ratchet up the U.S. response as the Ukraine war enters a gruesome new phase.

It’s been three weeks since the House passed the trade suspension measure that paves the way for President Joe Biden to enact higher tariffs on certain Russian imports. At the time, the legislation was billed as sending a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies about the economic isolation Russia will face for invading Ukraine.

The House also passed the oil ban about a month ago. The bill would codify restrictions on Russian oil that Biden has already put in place through executive action.

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US House Passes Legislation on Documenting War Crimes in Ukraine

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday calling for a federal government report on evidence of war crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lawmakers backed the measure amid gruesome reports of atrocities in towns around Kyiv, particularly Bucha, and new accounts of the civilian death toll in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

The legislation calls for the U.S. president to submit to Congress a report on efforts to preserve evidence related to war crimes.

Last month, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution seeking an investigation of Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes.

In his daily nighttime video address to the nation late Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to hide evidence of war crimes to interfere with the international investigation.

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UN to Vote Thursday on Suspending Russia From Rights Council

The U.N. General Assembly will vote Thursday on whether to suspend Russia from the U.N.’s premier human rights body. The move was initiated by the United States in response to the discovery of hundreds of bodies after Russian troops withdrew from towns near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, sparking calls for its forces to be tried for war crimes.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made the call for Russia to be stripped of its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council in the wake of videos and photos of streets in the town of Bucha strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians. The videos and reporting from the town have sparked global revulsion and calls for tougher sanctions on Russia, which has vehemently denied responsibility.

General Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said Wednesday the assembly’s emergency special session on Ukraine will resume at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday when the resolution “to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation” will be put to a vote.

Alan Chueng, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report

Epoch Times Staff

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