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The European Union is imposing a ban on imports of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia as of August 2022 as part of the fifth round of EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The new sanctions package, formally approved by the EU on Friday, comes after reports and footage emerged that Russian troops had committed war crimes while retreating from Ukrainian cities and towns.
The EU’s fifth package of sanctions against Russia was proposed by the European Commission on Tuesday, and was approved by the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COPERER) on Thursday.
The EU formally adopted the package of sanctions on Friday, and that package includes “a prohibition to purchase, import or transfer coal and other solid fossil fuels into the EU if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia, as from August 2022.”
The sanctions also include denying access to Russia-flagged vessels at EU ports, except for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid, and energy. The EU is also banning any Russian and Belarusian road transport undertaking, preventing them from transporting goods by road within the EU, including in transit. Derogations are nonetheless granted for a number of products, such as pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural, and food products, including wheat, and for road transport for humanitarian purposes. Sanctions were also extended to include more oligarchs, family members of sanctioned individuals, and a full transaction ban on four Russian banks.
“After being de-SWIFTed these banks will now be subject to an asset freeze, thereby being completely cut off from EU markets,” the EU said.
Import bans were also extended to comprise vodka, liquor, and caviar, as well as cement, rubber products, and wood.
The coal ban is one of the most significant measures in this new package of sanctions. Europe now has little time to find alternative coal supply, which will redirect coal trade flows and raise further coal and other energy commodity prices globally, and electricity prices in Europe in particular.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.