Business

EU proposing ban on Russian coal imports in 5th round of sanctions — but didn't mention natural gas

Business Insider US
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed new sanctions against Russia.
  • The European Union is proposing a ban on Russian coal imports.
  • The EU made its announcement amid mounting reports of Russian atrocities in the Ukraine war.
  • European Commission President Ursula von de Leyen did not mention natural gas.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

The European Union is proposing a ban on Russian coal in its fifth round of sanctions against the country, and considering restrictions against its oil imports — but the trade bloc notably left natural gas out of the conversation.

Von de Leyen's announcement came amid reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine. Over the weekend, Ukraine accused Russian forces of killing 300 civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

"Russia is waging a cruel and ruthless war, not only against Ukraine's brave troops, but also against its civilian population," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday said in a statement. "It is important to sustain utmost pressure on Putin and the Russian government at this critical point."

An EU import ban on Russian coal would cost the country 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) a year, said von der Leyen. Russia was the world's third-largest exporter of coal in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The EU is also working on sanctions against Russian oil imports, said von der Leyen. She did not mention natural gas.

The reason the EU commission proposed banning Russian coal, rather than oil or gas, "is likely because it is the easiest to be replaced," Simone Tagliapietra, a senior fellow at Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, told the Washington Post.

The EU imported about half of its coal from Russia in 2020, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics office. However, Europe has been moving away from coal to the cleaner natural gas for electricity generation. According to Eurostat, nuclear energy and solid fossil fuels — such as coal — accounted for 13% of the EU's energy mix in 2019, while natural gas accounted for 22% of the mix. Petroleum products, including crude oil, accounted for 36% of the energy mix.

European coal prices have gained on news of the potential sanctions, with regional benchmark Rotterdam coal futures closing 11% higher on Tuesday.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
16.31
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
19.72
+1.2%
Rand - Euro
17.01
+1.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.10
+1.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.2%
Gold
1,810.71
0.0%
Silver
19.89
0.0%
Palladium
1,964.46
0.0%
Platinum
892.00
0.0%
Brent-ruolie
111.63
+2.3%
Top 40
59,640
-0.8%
All Share
65,662
-0.9%
Resource 10
61,245
-4.1%
Industrial 25
80,264
+1.1%
Financial 15
14,564
-0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo