Q: Why will the embargo on Russian coal only come into effect in early August? Is it necessary to wait 120 days after the new package is published later today in the EU’s official journal? Moreover, does France, in its capacity as president of the EU, plan to bring back onto the agenda those proposals made by the European Commission that were not retained by the Coreper?
A: Yesterday, the European Union adopted a fifth package of sanctions, building on the large-scale sanctions that have been imposed since February 23 in an effort to make the cost of the war unbearable for Russia and to reach a ceasefire. In particular, the Europeans decided to ban the purchase, import and transportation to the EU of Russian coal and associated fossil fuels. This coal import ban will come into effect immediately for all but pre-existing contracts, which will be ended in early August. This transition period will allow member states and their businesses to find alternative solutions for their coal supply.
Furthermore, in keeping with the commitments made by the heads of state and government in Versailles on March 10 and 11, we are working with our partners on strategies that will allow us to end our energy dependence on Russia.
New proposals will be covered by new discussions with all 27 countries at the Council.