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Aluminum producers urge EU to impose embargo on metal from Russia

Aluminum producers urge EU to impose embargo on metal from Russia Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

European aluminum producers, backed by four EU countries, are pushing for the European Union to impose an embargo on cheap imports of the metal from Russia as part of an expected package of sanctions that will mark two years since the invasion of Ukraine, according to Politico.

Even two years after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Europe still buys 9% of its aluminum imports from Russia, which helped finance Moscow's war machine worth an estimated €2.3 billion in 2022.

However, EU diplomats say it is unlikely that a full ban will be introduced before February 24, the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Lithuania's proposal, which was supported by Estonia, Latvia, and Poland, is likely to face resistance from industrial countries such as Italy, which oppose measures that could lead to higher prices.

The EU is aiming to present the 13th package of sanctions by February 24, but the significant import volumes mean that it is unlikely that a complete ban will be agreed by all 27 countries so quickly.

Suffering from high energy prices and cheap foreign competition, European producers of the widely used metal are hoping that sanctions against Russia, which remains the world's third-largest producer, could bring some relief.

Since the fall, the EU Aluminum Association has argued that Brussels should completely cut off Russian imports, saying that producers have already "accelerated their decoupling."

Sanctions against Russia

In early January this year, the EU began preparing a new package of sanctions. The restrictions were discussed at a meeting of ambassadors on January 18.

Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Jozwiak called the sanctions package the weakest yet.

Last December, the European Union introduced the 12th package of sanctions against Russia.