“The EU has made it clear that reducing our dependence on energy imports from Russia is an urgent imperative,” the European Union said in a statement.
The European Union announced on Friday that its embargo on Russian coal will take effect on August 10 “as planned” as proposed in its fifth package of restrictive measures against Russia over its brutal invasion of Ukraine. The EU has called on all member states to comply with the ban despite the ongoing energy crisis. “These sanctions will further increase economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to finance the invasion of Ukraine,” the European Union said in a report.
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said separately at a press briefing that the ban on coal imports to Moscow was approved by the EU in April and will come into effect on August 10. “It is the end of the period for the import of Russian coal and no further exemption will apply,” he emphasized.
The EU has announced a ban on the import of “all forms of Russian coal”. This would affect almost a quarter of all Russian coal exports, representing a loss of revenue for Russia of around €8 billion per year, which could weaken its resolve in Ukraine.
Economic sanctions “cut even deeper” into the Russian economy
The coal ban is part of wider economic sanctions that “reach even deeper” into the Russian economy and was coordinated with international partners, according to the EU. In addition, the Commission and the European Economic Area (EEA) states have taken restrictive measures, such as the ban on Russian oil imports, and taken into account other economic impacts on the Russian Federation, as proposed by member states. The EU has released Russia from tax-exempt services and from specific payment channels, such as escrow accounts within the Escrow Wallet Service of individual EU countries.
The EU has also warned that members of the bloc face the risk of a complete cut-off in gas supplies from Russia due to the Kremlin’s weaponization of gas exports. With almost half of member states already affected by reduced supplies, the bloc called on countries to conserve energy to reduce both the risk and cost to Europe in the event of further or total disruption, thereby strengthening Europe’s energy resilience. The EU presented a new legislative instrument and the European Gas Demand Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce gas consumption in Europe by 15% by next spring. All consumers, public authorities, households, owners of public buildings, energy suppliers and industry have been advised to resort to strict measures to save gas.
Italy has launched an “operating thermostat” under a bill that limits air conditioning to limited use below 25C from next month to help the country avert a looming energy crisis exacerbated by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. EU member states are developing “new” natural gas businesses and independent use of fossil fuels to reduce dependence on Russian energy.