Germany blocked the EU initiative to impose a ban on coal supplies from Russia.
The new package of sanctions, which have been developing since December 2021, included the embargo on coal without banning imports of other Russian energy commodities such as oil and gas.
The EU intended to demonstrate to Russia the seriousness of the bloc’s intentions regarding the energy sector, including the climate agenda, but import restrictions are the most divisive among member countries, as they harm Europe. Germany, being the country most dependent on Russian coal, rejected the initiative at an early stage.
At the same time, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck repeatedly said that the country hoped to stop importing the solid fuel from Russia by autumn, while on March 25 he specified that Germany already reduced its reliance on Russian coal.
In 2021 Germany was the largest consumer of Russian coal in the EU, having imported 20.3 mio t from Russia (+5.8 mio t or +40% y-o-y).