EU Diplomats Close to Deal on New Russia Sanctions That Include Coal Ban

Russia's PM says the country is facing the most difficult situation in three decades due to Western sanctions

EU diplomats met in Brussels for a second day on Thursday to work out the next package of sanctions that will be imposed on Russia, which include a plan to ban the import of Russian coal.

The EU relies on Russia for about 45% of its total coal imports, and the ban will have a significant impact on Europe’s economy. EU diplomats agreed to phase out Russian coal over the next four months, an extension from the three months that was originally proposed.

The EU diplomats also narrowed a plan to ban Russian and Russian-operated ships from EU ports. At the insistence of Malta, Cyprus, and Greece, the ban will only apply to Russian-flagged vessels.

The lengthy deliberations on the sanctions demonstrate how much the measures will impact Europe. President Biden has repeatedly warned that the US-led sanctions campaign will not only hurt Russia but the US and Europe as well, and has also warned of “real” food shortages.

The ruble has recovered from the crash it took when Russia first invaded Ukraine, but the Russian economy is still hurting as a result of the Western sanctions. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday that Russia is facing its most difficult time in three decades.

“No doubt, the current situation could be called the most difficult in three decades for Russia,” Mishustin told Russia’s State Duma. “Such sanctions were not used even in the darkest times of the Cold War.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.