Germany will not lie in front of a European ban on importing Russian coal. According to German Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck, Germany has already cut its dependence on Russian coal and lignite by half.
Under an EU plan announced earlier this week, Russian coal imports will be phased out over three months before a ban on new contracts will be imposed. Habeck said Germany had cut the share of Russian coal in its fuel imports to a quarter or less in the past four weeks. It used to be at least 50 percent.
“If that meant no more coal imports from tomorrow, including no more docking of ships already underway, we’d be in big trouble,” Habeck told German broadcaster ARD. “But because we have already worked hard, we are prepared. That is why we do not stand in the way of an embargo.”
The European Commission’s coal proposal is part of the fifth package of measures to strengthen existing sanctions against Russia. EU leaders meeting on Thursday seek to approve it in response to recent reports of atrocities committed by retreating Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
The European Commission also proposes to ban most Russian trucks and ships from entering the country bloc. However, an exception is made for agricultural products and energy.