Politico: EU may sanction Russian aluminum as part of next package

EU members are considering an embargo on Russian aluminum as part of the 13th package of sanctions, Politico reported on Jan. 23, citing unnamed EU diplomats.

Reports emerged last week that the European bloc is reading yet another sanctions package against Russia, imposed in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russian aluminum products are among the goods in focus for the EU’s next sanction package on Russia, Politico said, citing the diplomats.

Previous packages left around 85% of Russian exports of the metal to the EU untouched, according to the trade organization European Aluminium.

A full ban on Russian aluminum will be discussed, according to an unnamed diplomat. Another diplomatic source said that the EU countries are hoping to agree on the package before the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Sanctioning aluminum will be “yet another way of sanctioning Russian energy” as energy prices constitute up to 40% of the costs of aluminum smelting, said another diplomat.

The metal embargo is being discussed since “all of the big items are already sanctioned” or not available, like nuclear or LNG, said a senior EU diplomat.

Some Eastern EU countries, including Hungary, have opposed sanctions on the Russian nuclear sector. Russia’s Rosatom has been building two new reactors for Hungary.

Many EU countries have opposed Russian liquified natural gas sanctions. However, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania urge an import ban on LNG and aluminum, as well as more sanctions in the aviation sector, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

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