September 22, 2022 - The European Commission eased sanctions against Russian coal to allow supplies to be transported to other countries around the world, the group said Wednesday.
The transfer of goods including coal "should be allowed to combat food and energy insecurity around the world," the Commission said in new guidance.
Previously, European sanctions did not allow for EU actors to transfer or provide services for Russian supplies including coal.
According to Latvia's Foreign Ministry, however, the fresh guidelines were not coordinated with member states, and were surprising.
"The EU is fully committed to avoiding that its sanctions unduly impact trade in critical items to third countries around the globe," Commission Spokesman Daniel Ferrie said in a statement. "The financing, or provision of financial assistance — such as insurance or reinsurance — by EU operators for the transport to third countries of the products mentioned in our guidance note is also allowed."
The Commission noted, too, that food and energy security remained a priority amid these sanctions adjustments, according to Bloomberg. None of the EU's sanctions are set to impact wheat or fertilizer, Ferrie added.
Still, sources told Bloomberg that a group of nations were left confused by the Commission's proposals, and are seeking further explanations behind references to wood, cement, and coal in the report.
Meanwhile, global coal prices hit a record high this month as the fossil fuel commodity sees something of a resurgence. The International Energy Agency forecasted that global coal consumption this year will hit a level last seen a decade ago.