The European Council adopted the eighth package of sanctions against Russia as punishment for its military special operation in Ukraine, which expanded the ban on the import of Russian steel products, including steel semi-finished products, the European Commission said in a statement on October 6.
Among a number of other announced restrictions, the EC said it was banning coal exports to Russia, including coking coal used in Russian industrial plants.
The EU previously prohibited the import of finished steel products from Russia as part of sanctions imposed in March, and some suppliers of semi-finished products and steel raw materials have also previously been hit by sanctions imposed on specific companies and individuals.
The European Commission said the new import restrictions would affect nearly 7 billion euros ($6.9 billion) of Russian steel exports.
“This is just a part of this package of sanctions and we are grateful for the important step of solidarity on the part of the EU. At the same time, we expect that sanctions pressure on the aggressor will continue. It is necessary to completely disconnect all Russian and Belarusian banks from SWIFT, introduce a complete energy embargo, prohibit ships flying the flags of EU member states from entering Russian seaports, as well as stop issuing visas for Russian citizens,” Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys commented on the new European sanctions. Shmyhal.
As a reminder, ahead of the new European sanctions, nine large steel companies, including European rerollers and metal traders, sent a joint letter to the Council of Europe highlighting the risk of “imposing sanctions on raw materials for the rerolling business model in Europe.”
According to the letter, any ban on the import of steel semi-finished products such as slabs, billets and blooms from Russia would have consequences for the industry, such as unemployment and price hikes, since there are simply no other viable options to replace supplies. According to the signatories, more than 80% of EU steel semi-finished products come from Russia and Ukraine.
NLMK is the only slab exporter from Russia that is still active in the EU market despite global sanctions and has focused on slabs supplied to its own roll and plate mills in Belgium, France, Denmark and Italy, as well as on some external sales to buyers from Central Europe.