Last week, the EU formally announced its fifth sanctions package against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. By banning the sale of Russian coal, wood, chemicals and other products, the bloc was able to slash a tenth of the total imports from Moscow. However, Ukrainian officials slammed the EU for being too slow to take action against Putin, even amidst the reports of war crimes committed in Bucha.
Speaking to Politico, Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the office of Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky slammed the bloc for taking action too slowly, and not doing enough to hurt Putin’s war efforts.
While the ban on Russian coal is the first such blow at Putin’s energy exports, even that does not mean that the bloc will immediately cease supplying coal to the bloc.
The details of the sanctions state that EU members cannot sign any new coal supply contracts with Russia, with the blockade fully coming into effect from the second week of August.
This means that the EU will continue to pay Russia for its coal imports for the next four months.
Mr Zhovkva described the latest sanctions as being “too late, too slow and too little,” however adding that “we are thankful for the fifth package”.
The deputy head urged the bloc to ban impose a ban on Russian gas, which is Moscow’s largest export to the EU.
He said: “We do understand that there’s a procedure.
“We are realistic and we understand we have to follow the rules, but we don’t have another 10 or 15 years to wait for bureaucracy.
“Yes, there may be economic suffering or a rise in prices, but on the other hand, there is the death of Ukrainians.
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