EU imposes coal embargo on Russia as Council agrees new round of sanctions

EU imposes coal embargo on Russia as Council agrees new round of sanctions

April 8, 2022

The Council of the European Union today imposed a fifth package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on Russian coal, a ban on Russian-flagged ships docking at EU ports and a ban on Russian and Belarusian road haulage.

“These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation. The aim of our sanctions is to stop the reckless, inhuman and aggressive behaviour of the Russian troops and make clear to the decision makers in the Kremlin that their illegal aggression comes at a heavy cost,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

The package comprises:

  • 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. Imports of coal into the EU are currently worth €8 billion per year.
  • a prohibition to provide access to EU ports to vessels registered under the flag of Russia. Derogations are granted for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid, and energy.
  • a ban on 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.
  • further export bans, targeting jet fuel and other goods such as quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics, software, sensitive machinery and transportation equipment, and new import bans on products such as: wood, cement, fertilisers, seafood and liquor. The agreed export and import bans only account for €10 billion and €5.5 billion respectively.
  • a series of targeted economic measures intended to strengthen existing measures and close loopholes, such as: a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in member states, the exclusion of all financial support to Russian public bodies. an extended prohibition on deposits to crypto-wallets, and on the sale of banknotes and transferrable securities denominated in any official currencies of the EU member states to Russia and Belarus, or to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia and Belarus,.

Furthermore, the EU decided to sanction companies whose products or technology have played a role in the invasion, key oligarchs and businesspeople, high-ranking Kremlin officialsproponents of disinformation and information manipulation, systematically spreading the Kremlin’s narrative on Russia’s war aggression in Ukraine, as well as family members of already sanctioned individuals, in order to make sure that EU sanctions are not circumvented.

Moreover a full transaction ban is imposed on four key Russian banks representing 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. After being de-SWIFTed, these banks will now be subject to an asset freeze, thereby being completely cut off from EU markets.

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