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Russian companies could continue to export coal to EU until August due to pressure from Germany

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According to the source, after the package is approved, it will be the first EU embargo on imports of energy from Russia, since the start of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

However, oil and gas, which are by far the largest EU imports from Russia, will continue to be unaffected by sanctions.

Most of Europe’s coal purchases in Russia take place on the spot market, as opposed to long-term contracts. Acquisitions on the spot market will be stopped immediately after the sanctions will be imposed, Agerpres reports.

The European Commission initially proposed a three-month transition period for existing contracts, which meant that Russia could technically continue to export coal to the EU for 90 days after sanctions were imposed, according to a document consulted by Reuters .

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But this transition period has been extended to four months, a source close to the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The extension of the transition period came as a result of pressure from Germany, the main importer of Russian coal from the EU.

Although the sanctions are due to take effect later this week, or early next week, after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU, Russian companies will technically be able to continue exporting coal to the EU until mid-August. existing contracts.

A European diplomat said most contracts were short-term and a 90-day transition period would have allowed most contracts to be concluded without the need for cancellation, thus avoiding legal risks.

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Although slightly lower than the original proposal, the EU’s embargo on Russian coal is more ambitious than that of the UK, which has said it intends to ban coal imports from Russia later this year.

According to European Commission estimates, an EU embargo on coal imports from Russia would mean a four billion euro a year reduction in revenue for Moscow.

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