For the first time: EU bans the import of Coal and Vodka from Russia

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...

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