EU to ban imports of steel products from Russia worth billions

BRUSSELS – The European Union has imposed a new volley of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including bans on Russian energy sector investments, imports of steel products from Russia and luxury goods exports to the aggressor country.

The European Union, within the framework of a new sanctions package, will introduce restrictions on the supply of products from Russian metallurgical companies.

“We will prohibit the import of key goods in the iron and steel sector from the Russian Federation. This will hit a central sector of Russia’s system, deprive it of billions of export revenues and ensure that our citizens are not subsidising Putin’s war,” the European Commission said in a statement released on Friday in the evening.

The European Commission said the sanctions also included “a far-reaching ban on new investment across the Russian energy sector”.

The measures will hit Russia’s oil majors Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, who will be subjected to a transactions ban, but EU members will be still able to buy oil and gas from them.

Investment in energy projects within Russia run by other Russian companies, including gas giant Gazprom, will also be banned.

The investment ban applies to the whole energy sector, excluding nuclear energy, because some EU countries still rely on technology provided by Moscow for Russian reactors on their soil, the official said. Russia’s exports of several raw minerals, including fossil fuels and palladium, remain possible.

The ban on Russian steel imports is estimated to affect 3.3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) worth of products.

One EU official said the EU was in advanced talks with Washington for the adoption of similar measures by the U.S. which is home to the world’s top agencies, “otherwise the measure will have very little effect.”

The EU also agreed to strip Russia of its “most-favoured nation” trade status, opening the door to punitive tariffs on Russian goods or outright import bans.

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