The German vice-chancellor said Russia’s continued revenue from high fuel prices “hurts”, but insisted “time is working against Russia” with its economy collapsing.
Robert Habeck, who is also German economy minister, told the German parliament on Thursday that “the income that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has gotten in recent months due to high prices hurts, and we can only to be ashamed of not having succeeded in reducing this dependency more significantly”.
But he argued that looking at Russia’s gas and oil revenues doesn’t tell the whole story.
Mr Habeck said “Putin is still getting money, but he can hardly spend it anymore” because of Western sanctions. He also pointed to sharp declines in exports to Russia, including from Germany.
The minister said that “time does not work for Russia. He is working against Russia, he is working against the Russian economy”.
He added that “nobody wants to invest in Russia anymore.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian emergency officials said Russian shelling had set fire to a school in the city of Kharkiv, with a woman dying in the blaze.
Another man was injured, Ukrainian officials said.
Shell fires also occurred in other areas of the Kharkiv region.
Russian forces also shelled the Dnipropetrovsk region overnight, its governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, said on Telegram.
He said the shelling took place on the border with the Kherson region, much of which is under Moscow’s control.
In the Sumy region that borders Russia, three people were injured as a result of missile fire overnight, Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyi said.
In the east, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian troops continued to storm the key city of Sievierodonetsk.
Moscow forces also stormed the town of Komyshuvakha in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, much of which is under Russian control, the General Staff’s morning update said.
Earlier, a Russian missile hit train tracks in the western Lviv region, a key conduit for the supply of Western weapons and other supplies, officials said.
Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytsky said five people were injured in the strike.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the country’s interior minister, said the Russians struck the Beskydy rail tunnel in the Carpathians with the apparent aim of cutting off a key rail link and disrupting arms and fuel shipments.
However, the Ukrainian Railways official said damage to the track was still being assessed, but the tunnel was spared.
The strike reportedly delayed three passenger trains, but all then resumed their journey.