Live video coverage of the war: EU countries approve new Russian sanctions, including on coal | Newstalk Florida

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union countries on Thursday approved new punitive sanctions against Russia, including an EU embargo on coal imports, following evidence of torture and killings emerging from areas of war outside kyiv.

The ban on coal imports will be the first EU sanction aimed at Russia’s lucrative energy industry over its war in Ukraine and is estimated to cost 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) a year , announced the presidency of the EU, held by France. In the meantime, the EU has already started working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports.

‘The package is very substantial and extends sanctions against Russia to new sectors’ and more oligarchs, the presidency said, citing officials linked to propaganda, military security and war-related high tech in Ukraine.

The deal received the final political green light at a meeting of EU ambassadors and will be enacted once published in the EU’s official journal, likely on Friday.

So far, the ban on natural gas has remained out of reach, but not because of the lack of support from the European Parliament.

The legislature approved a resolution by a margin of 513 to 22 — with 19 abstentions — demanding “an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas.”

While the move underscores the EU’s determination to act against the Kremlin, it carries little more than moral weight, since it is up to member states themselves to unanimously impose such bans.

And energy is essential in Europe’s trade relations with Russia. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the 27-nation bloc was paying €1 billion a day for energy supplies, which is more than €35 billion since the start of the crisis. war.

Late Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that if not gas, oil would soon be on the list. “The next step that we are looking at intensely right now (is) oil, in order to prepare ourselves to be able to phase out oil,” she told reporters.

On Wednesday, the United States announced sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and said it was toughening sentences on Russian banks in retaliation for “war crimes” in Ukraine.

The measures against Sberbank and Alfa Bank prohibit assets from touching the US financial system and prevent Americans from doing business with these institutions.

EU sanctions approved on Thursday night also included freezing the assets of several Russian banks, an extension of an arms export ban covering pre-2014 contracts and other export bans totaling some $10 billion. euros. The nations also approved $5.5 billion in additional imports and a port ban for Russian vessels.


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