EU proposes Russian coal ban, with possible oil sanctions to come

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The European Commission has proposed a ban on Russian coal in a new round of sanctions punishing Moscow for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, CNBC reported Tuesday. The proposal arrives after reports of mass killings in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha and war crimes allegations against Russia emerged over the weekend.

"We will impose an import ban on coal from Russia, worth 4 billion euros ($4.39 billion) per year. This will cut another important revenue source for Russia," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed Tuesday, per CNBC. The new sanctions also include a transaction ban on four "critical" Russian banks, a ban on Russian and Russian-operated vessels accessing EU ports, and targeted export bans involving quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, CNBC notes.

"These atrocities can not and will not be left unanswered. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished," von der Leyen added.

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Imposing sanctions on the Russian energy sector has proven difficult for the European Union, considering member states' level of dependency on Russian resources, CNBC notes.

European ambassadors will consider this latest batch of punitive measures on Wednesday. Final approval won't happen until after that.

Von der Leyen also said the commission is considering additional sanctions on oil imports — another controversial move, due to fear it would hurt member states' economies more than Russia's.

Those measures, however, would only be implemented if the war continues to escalate, CNBC reports. As Politico notes, cutting Rusian coal out of the European economy is a "far easier task" than cutting out oil (though such a ban would "deal a far bigger blow to the Kremlin's war effort").

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