Europeans are ready for the Russian coal embargo

the atrocities committed by the Russian army in Boutcha, in the Ukraine, quickly moved the lines within the western camp. While the United States and Canada announced new sanctions against Moscow, Paris and Berlin decided, on Monday, April 4, to follow a movement that began last week in several countries of the European Union (EU) by massively expelling Russian diplomats suspected of espionage. Thirty-five of them will leave France because of “His activities contrary to the interest [du pays] »Around 40 more will have to leave Germany because they would pose a threat to people seeking protection, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

Lithuania has announced the expulsion of the Russian ambassador and the withdrawal of its ambassador from Moscow. Spain has seized, in Palma de Mallorca, the yacht of the oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, the target of US sanctions – but not European at this time. Finland boarded three Russian ships loaded with goods subject to European sanctions, while Poland advocated a visa ban for all Russian citizens, a move Warsaw hopes to see debated at the European level.

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Before last weekend, the EU-27 was preparing a fifth package of sanctions, which should, for example, aim to ban exports to Russia of certain technological goods and stop imports into the Union of certain Russian materials, but also contemplate the freezing of assets for new oligarchs or relatives of Vladimir Putin, as well as for companies, including banks.

Add an energy component to sanctions

Over the weekend, the capitals and the Commission – which is in charge of proposing sanctions that must then be endorsed by the Member States – discussed whether it was possible to increase the measures and add an energy component, or if it was convenient to take a little more weather. Monday, April 4 in the morning, over France InterFrench President Emmanuel Macron said “favorable” until the EU decides on an embargo on Russian oil and coal.

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Finally, on the night of Monday, April 4, it seemed certain that the Europeans were ready to take a first step by deciding on a coal embargo. It remained for him to decide when the measure would be applied precisely, while the ships were already heading to European ports and the interruption of certain contracts requires a transition period.

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