European Union Will Seek A Ban On Import Of Russian Coal: Reports  

As part of a fresh round of penalties on Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission will propose banning Russian coal.

Due to the sensitivity of the discussions, two EU sources told the media on Tuesday that the EU’s executive arm will propose that coal be included in the sanctions.

The EU has found it difficult to impose sanctions on Russia’s energy industry due to the high level of reliance on the country’s energy supplies by several member states.

As part of a fresh round of penalties on Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission will propose banning Russian coal.

Two EU officials, who declined to be identified owing to the sensitivity of the discussions, informed the media on Tuesday that the EU’s executive arm will propose that coal be included in the sanctions.

The EU has found it difficult to impose sanctions on Russia’s energy industry due to the high level of reliance on the country’s energy supplies by several member states.

In 2020, the EU imported 19.3 per cent of its coal from Russia, according to figures from the European statistics office.

In the same year, it imported 36.5 per cent of its oil and 41.1 per cent of its natural gas from the country.

However, rising evidence of Russian forces committing war crimes in Ukraine has prompted the panel to recommend that coal be included in its fifth package of penalties on Moscow.

European ambassadors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the fresh set of sanctions. The sanctions will not be approved until after the talks, and the plans may change before the ambassadors meet.

Europe is under increasing pressure to attack Russia’s energy industry, especially as energy-importing countries continue to bolster President Vladimir Putin’s war fund with oil and gas revenues on a daily basis.

However, the EU is split on the subject, with some countries supporting a ban on Russian energy imports and others claiming that such a step would harm their economies more than Russia’s.

In the aftermath of accusations of atrocities in communities near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that the EU should proceed with sanctions against Russian oil and coal.

Germany, on the other hand, appears to be less optimistic about such a move, particularly when it comes to natural gas supply.

“We want to be, [in the] short time, less dependent on Russian energy imports to the European Union and Germany will support further sanctions on Russia,” German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told the media in Luxembourg on Monday.

“We have to put more pressure on Putin and we have to isolate Russia — we have to cut all economic relationships to Russia, but at the moment it is not possible to cut the gas supplies.”

(Adapted from CNBC.com)

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