EU proposes a ban on Russian coal, working on oil sanctions

EU proposes a ban on Russian coal, working on oil sanctions

April 7, 2022: On Tuesday, the European Commission proposed banning Russian coal as part of a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“We will impose an import ban on coal from Russia, worth 4 billion euros per year. This will cut another important revenue source for Russia,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Tuesday afternoon, confirming an earlier report from CNBC.

It marks another significant escalation in punitive measures against the Kremlin. Imposing sanctions on the Russian energy sector has been a challenge for the bloc, given the high level of dependency that some member states have on the country’s resources.

According to the European statistics office data, the EU imported 19.3% of its coal from Russia in 2020. It imported 36.5% of its oil from the country in the same year and 41.1% of its natural gas. However, mounting evidence of possible war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine has pushed the commission to propose that coal be added to the fifth package of sanctions against Moscow.

“These atrocities cannot and will not be left unanswered. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished,” von der Leyen said.

She added, “Clearly, we need to increase our pressure further because of events.”

European ambassadors will discuss the new set of measures on Wednesday. Final approval of the sanctions won’t happen until after the talks.

The new set of sanctions also includes a complete transaction ban on four critical Russian banks, VTB; a ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports; and targeted export bans worth 10 billion euros that involve quantum computers and advanced semiconductors.

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EU proposes a ban on Russian coal, working on oil sanctions