Poland wants to ban Russian coal imports

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Poland’s government on Tuesday moved to ban coal imports from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, an energy sanction that would be a first for the European Union.

The United States banned the import of Russian oil and gas earlier this month, but the EU, which last year received around 40 percent of its gas supplies from Russia, has maintained deliveries from Moscow.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said a new draft law to impose asset freezes on companies and individuals backing Russia would also seek to forbid coal imports.

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“We’ve included provisions in this bill that would block imports of coal from Russia at the national level,” he told reporters.

“We can’t continue to wait for the European Union’s response in this regard,” he added.

Poland has called for greater sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last month, including a ban on fuel imports.

The EU member hopes to free itself from Russian gas by next year, and eventually from Russian oil as well.

According to estimates, Poland has been importing an annual nine to 10 million tons of Russian coal in recent years - making up a fifth of what the European Union receives.

Muller however added that in Poland, only private firms import Russian coal at the moment.

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