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Ukraine: the EU decides on an embargo on Russian coal

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The French Presidency of the Council of the EU announced Thursday that the representatives of the Twenty-Seven had decided on an embargo on Russian coal and the closure of European ports to Russian ships, as part of a fifth salvo of sanctions against Moscow.

The representatives of the Twenty-Seven decided on Thursday an embargo on Russian coal and the closure of European ports to Russian ships, as part of a fifth salvo of sanctions against Moscow due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, announced the French Presidency of the Council of the EU. This “very substantial” package also provides for the banning of exports to Russia, in particular of high-tech goods, up to 10 billion euros, and the freezing of the assets of several Russian banks.

Measures proposed with the discoveries of Boutcha

These new measures had been proposed by the European Commission after the discovery of dozens of corpses of civilians last weekend in Boutcha, near kyiv. This is the first time that the Europeans have hit the Russian energy sector, on which they are very dependent. The EU imports 45% of its coal from Russia for a value of 4 billion euros per year. This embargo will come into force at the beginning of August, 120 days after the publication of the new package in the EU’s official journal expected on Friday.

The list of Russian products banned from importing into the EU is also extended to certain “raw materials and critical materials” for an estimated value of 5.5 billion euros per year, in order to stop the financing of the effort of Moscow war. Russian and Belarusian road hauliers are now banned from operating in the EU, the French presidency specifies in a series of tweets.

The EU blacklist is also being expanded by more than 200 names of individuals, including Russian oligarchs and Vladimir Putin’s two daughters, according to a document seen by AFP. Russia “will suffer a long descent into economic, financial and technological isolation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.

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