For the first time: EU bans the import of Coal and Vodka from RussiaRussia | April 8, 2022, Friday // 15:56| views
The EU Council today adopted the fifth package of sanctions against Russia - the most severe so far. They were imposed because of the war against Ukraine.
For the first time, a ban has been imposed on the import of coal from Russia, as well as on the entry of Russian-flagged ships into EU ports. The ban also affects Russia's import of vodka from the EU.
Full details will be available after the decision is published in the Official Journal of the EU.
The package includes:
• A ban on the purchase, import or transfer of coal and other solid fossil fuels in the EU if they originate in or are exported from Russia. The measure enters into force on August 22. Russia's coal imports to the EU currently amount to €4 billion a year;
• Prohibition of access to EU ports on ships registered under the Russian flag. Exceptions are allowed for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid and energy;
• Ban on all Russian and Belarusian land transport operators. They will not even be able to transport goods through the EU in transit. Exceptions are pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat, as well as land transport for humanitarian purposes;
• Additional export bans affecting aviation fuel and other goods such as quantum computers and high-tech semiconductors, high-end electronics, software, transportation equipment. Imports of products such as wood, cement, fertilizers, seafood and alcohol are banned. The bans amount to 10 billion euros for exports and 5.5 billion for exports;
(Only a month ago, the European Commission said sanctions against Russia would not cover the vodka ban.
• A series of targeted economic measures aimed at strengthening existing restrictions and closing the loopholes. These include a ban on the participation of Russian companies in public procurement in EU countries, the exclusion of any financial assistance - European or national - for Russian public authorities, an extension of the ban on cryptocurrency deposits, and a ban on the sale of banknotes and transferable securities. securities denominated in any official currency of the Member States in the territory of Russia and Belarus, or of any natural or legal person in those two countries.
The council also decided to sanction companies whose products or technologies played a role in the invasion of Ukraine, prominent oligarchs and businessmen, high-ranking Kremlin officials, disseminators of disinformation, and family members of previously sanctioned individuals.
All transactions of 4 main Russian banks, whose share of the banking market in the country amounts to 23 percent, are prohibited. Their accounts will now be frozen, cutting them off from access to EU markets.
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