A complete ban on the import of Russian coal to the European Union came into force

The grace period for the execution of contracts for the import of Russian coal to the European Union (EU), concluded before the introduction of restrictive EU measures, is ending. Since August 10, according to the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, the import of Russian coal into the EU is prohibited.

“It is also advisable to restrict the export of jet fuel and other goods to Russia, as well as impose additional restrictions on the import of certain goods exported by Russia or originating in Russia, including coal and other solid fossil fuels,” the April 8 additional anti-Russian pressure measures said.

One of the additional articles is a ban on “transactions for the purchase, import or transport into the EU of coal and other solid fossil fuels until August 10, 2022.” This indicated that the contracts concluded before April 9 could be executed.

According to the Council of the European Union, as of April this year, Russian coal imports reached €8 billion a year.

In early July, the Russian Ministry of Energy set a goal to occupy 25% of the global coal market by 2050 and remain in the top three largest exporters. As the head of the department of the coal industry of the ministry, Petr Bobylev, said, now the Russian Federation is in third place, Australia is in first place, and Indonesia is in second. He pointed out that 18% of the world market is Russian coal.

According to the agency, the share of EU countries in the total export of Russian coal in 2021 amounted to 21.8% (about 48.7 million tons of coal). In 2020, the figure was slightly higher – 22% of all exports.

The fifth package of sanctions against Russia, introduced on April 5 by the European Commission (EC), includes individual, trade, transport and energy sanctions, including an embargo on coal imports. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the European Union would ban the import of coal from Russia in the amount of €4 billion a year.

As Kirill Rodionov, an expert at the Institute for the Development of Technologies in the Fuel and Energy Complex, told Izvestiya on July 26, the dependence of the European Union on Russia is stronger in the segment of thermal coal than coking coal. The comparative “narrowness” of the European market and the EU’s refusal from coal generation will play into the hands of importers.

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