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EU agrees on coal embargo, other new sanctions against Russia

EU agrees on coal embargo, other new sanctions against Russia
The European Union on Thursday agreed on new sanctions against Russia, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said included a $4.35 billion per year embargo on Russian coal. File Photo by Stephanie Lecocq/EPA-EFE

April 7 (UPI) -- The European Union on Thursday approved new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on coal imports in response to accusations of human rights violations by Moscow in its invasion of Ukraine.

The EU presidency announced the ban is worth an estimated $4.35 billion per year as the bloc took its first steps to sanction Russia's energy industry since the invasion began in late February. It cited "horrific human rights violations" in Buchan.

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"The package is very substantial and extends sanctions against Russia to new sectors," said the presidency, which is held by France.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the sanctions in a series of tweets Tuesday, noting they also would include a full transaction ban on four Russian banks, including the nation's second largest, VTB.

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Additionally, the sanctions will impose a ban on Russian and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports and a ban on Belarusian road transport operators, further export bans on advanced semiconductors, machinery and transport equipment worth nearly $11 billion, and new import bans worth almost $6 billion.

Von der Leyen added the EU would also impose targeted measures, including a ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in the EU, exclusion of all financial support from the EU or its individual nations to Russian public bodies, and further listing of individuals.

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The bloc is working on additional sanctions, such as oil imports, as the European Parliament voted 513-22 in favor of "an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas."

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On Wednesday, the EU imposed sanctions in conjunction with the United States and the G7, to impose sanctions that target Russian banks, President Vladimir Putin's grown daughters Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Maria Lavrova and Yekaterina Vinokurova, and members of the Russian Security Council.

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