ua en ru

Czechia seeks sanctions exemption for Russian steel imports

Czechia seeks sanctions exemption for Russian steel imports Minister of Industry and Trade of Czechia Josef Sikela (Getty Images)

In the Czech government, it is believed that the country will receive an exemption from sanctions against Russia related to the import of Russian steel, according to the Minister of Industry and Trade of Czechia, Josef Sikela.

The Ostrava metallurgical company, Vítkovice Steel, is seeking an extension of the privilege on the import of Russian steel until 2028. The extension is being considered as part of the negotiations on the twelfth package of sanctions against Russia recently presented by the European Commission.

"I am firmly convinced that the approach will be preserved, according to which sanctions should harm primarily those for whom they are intended, not those who apply them, and that, in this case, we will get them," said Sikela.

Vítkovice Steel is requesting an extension of the exemption from importing Russian steel until 2028 as part of agreed measures. The current exemption is set to expire next year. Besides Czechia, Belgium and Italy are also requesting exceptions.

Will Prague manage to find alternative steel supplies?

Thick sheets are produced from steel from the Russian company Novolipetsk Metallurgical Combine. The spokesperson for Vítkovice Steel, Jana Dronska, stated that if the exemption from sanctions is not continued, it could cause a crisis in the Czech construction industry or the automotive industry.

According to Minister Sikela, there are very few suppliers who produce so-called steel gates.

"Suppliers from China do not produce gates of adequate quality, and to some extent, there is also great unreliability in terms of supplies," added the Czech minister.

He clarified that the country is looking for other solutions, but so far, no good options have been found.

EU sanctions against Russia

The European Union has approved 11 packages of sanctions against the Russian Federation. Restrictions include products that can be used in the production of tools. The sanctions have targeted individuals and entities responsible for the invasion of Ukraine and assisting in continuing the war.

Currently, the EU plans to coordinate the 12th package of anti-Russian sanctions, which includes new lists of personal restrictions as well as export sanctions, particularly regarding diamonds. Earlier, Politico reported that Czechia is seeking an extension of the preferential period for the import of Russian steel from the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Combine, which is necessary for Prague's automotive industry.