BRUSSELS, August 5. /TASS/. The European Union’s ban on purchases of Russian coal will come into force on August 10 as planned, with all member states obliged to observe it despite the energy crisis, European Commission Spokesman Eric Mamer told a briefing on Friday.
"An import ban on all forms of Russian coal was agreed in April by the EU as part of the fifth package of restrictive sanctions against Russia. The 10th of August is the end of the period for the import of Russian coal and no further exemption will apply. <…> We have no doubt that the member states will implement this decision," he said when asked about supplies of Russian coal to the EU amid the energy crisis in the Union.
"The Russian invasion of Ukraine paradoxically is going to help us speed up our move away from fossil fuels in general and from Russian fossil fuels in particular," the spokesman said, adding that "it can be legitimate for short transitory periods of time to use coal if no other options are available."
EU countries intend to build an economy with zero carbon footprint by 2050. For doing this the bulk of EU states have considerably reduced coal electrical power generation, which causes the largest carbon emissions to the atmosphere. However, amid the energy crisis that has deteriorated as a result of the EU's sanctions, the European Commission has allowed its members to return to coal generation in a move to push down the influence of fast-growing energy prices on the Union’s economy.