EU Adopts New Sanctions on Russia, including Coal Import Ban
9 April 2022
The European Union formally adopted its fifth round of economic and individual sanctions against Russia on Friday, responding to allegations of atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The latest sanctions are estimated to cut 10 percent of total Russian imports, and will ban the import of coal, wood, chemicals, and several other products from entering the bloc.
The ban on coal is the first time the EU has directly sanctioned Moscow’s energy sector, but Russian oil and gas imports –worth an estimated 100 billion euros per year– remain untouched.
By comparison, Russia’s coal exports to EU nations are worth approximately 4 billion euros per year, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The EU imports over 40 percent of the coal it consumes, half of which comes from Russia.
The move to ban coal –a crucial element in power production– comes amid a spike in global energy prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2021, the Union produced 14 percent of its electricity from coal.
Friday’s measures will also ban all transactions with four major Russian banks —including the state-owned VTB bank— and block many Russian trucks and vessels from accessing the European Union.
“These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation, '' said Joseph Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Kremlin, on the other hand, has said that Western allegations of Russian forces executing civilians in Bucha were a “monstrous forgery” intended to denigrate the Russian army.
217 new people were also added to the EU blacklist –which means they will have their EU assets frozen and be subject to travel bans– bringing the total number of individuals sanctioned by the EU close to 900.
Writer: Ainhoa Petri-Hidalgo
Photo Credits: AFP