'Impose tougher rules': Zelensky warns Russia could use chemical weapons
The European Union said that more sanctions on Russia are an option
The equipment is being delivered on a rolling basis and some have already been delivered
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the US was aware of the reports but cannot confirm the veracity
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday warned that Russia is likely to use chemical weapons in the war-hit country and called on the West to impose tougher sanctions to deter Russia from such acts.
The Ukraine President's warning came amid unconfirmed reports suggesting chemical weapons were used in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol.
In his nightly video address, Zelensky said, "We treat this with the utmost seriousness."
"I would like to remind world leaders that the possible use of chemical weapons by the Russian military has already been discussed. And already at that time it meant that it was necessary to react to the Russian aggression much harsher and faster."
The Ukrainian President did not say whether chemical weapons had already been used.
An aide to the mayor of Mariupol had said that reports about the chemical attack had not been confirmed and that he would provide details and clarifications later.
"We cannot confirm at this time and will continue to monitor the situation closely," Kirby said.
Meanwhile, a Biden administration official said that the United States is providing Ukraine with protective life-saving gear to be used against the possible use of chemical and biological weapons by Russia.
According to a report, the equipment is being delivered on a rolling basis and some have already been delivered.
On Monday, the European Union said that more sanctions on Russia are an option.
"It is time to make this package in such a way that we would not hear even words about weapons of mass destruction from the Russian side," Zelenskyy said. "An oil embargo against Russia is a must. Any new package of sanctions against Russia that does not affect oil will be received in Moscow with a smile."