EU bans Russian coal and shipping from ports, ‘working’ on oil sanctions

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The European Union has announced bans on imports of Russian coal and on Russian shipping from EU ports and is working on further sanctions including on oil imports, the European Commission said April 5.

The measures follow reports of war crimes attributed to Russia in Ukraine and follow four successive rounds of sanctions.

The new round includes an import ban on coal from Russia worth Eur4 billion/year ($4.38 billion/year) and a ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports, allowing for certain exemptions such as agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid as well as energy.

Not included in this latest round is a ban on oil imports, despite calls from some member states for that.

“We are working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports, and we are reflecting on some of the ideas presented by the member states,” president of the EC Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

The announcement came after French President Emmanuel Macron on April 4 called for further sanctions targeting Russian oil and coal following reports of what he called “war crimes” committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

The EU to date has imposed sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, but focused on areas such as investment and technology sales, without an outright ban on imports. Macron, in his comments, appeared to acknowledge the EU would remain dependent on Russian gas, as German politicians underlined their country’s continued reliance on the fuel at least for the time being.

Source: Platts