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New EU sanctions leave loopholes for Russian metal products, expert

New EU sanctions leave loopholes for Russian metal products, expert Photo: 12th EU sanctions package retains loopholes for Russian metal products (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

In the 12th package of sanctions recently adopted by the EU, there are positive moments for the Ukrainian mining and metallurgical complex. However, at the same time, the EU has left loopholes in sanctions for other metallurgical raw materials, primarily slabs and billets.

According to the president of the association of Ukrainian steel and mining companies, Ukrmetallurgprom, Oleksandr Kalenkov, a loophole for the import of several positions of Russian metallurgy, including the same pig iron, has been preserved in the EU until March 30, 2024, if contracts for these positions were concluded by December 19, 2023.

"Moreover, despite the tough position of the European Steel Association EUROFER, which demanded an immediate cessation of the import of Russian billets and blanks, sanctions on which, as is known, were to take effect from April 2024 for some types of products and from October 2024 for others, the 12th package not only does not provide for an immediate ban on their import but, on the contrary, for a number positions, the start of the ban has been postponed to 2028," Kalenkov adds.

In any case, the implementation of the package gives Ukrainian metallurgists a chance to fully or partially replace the import of several positions of Russian metal products with Ukrainian analogs, Kalenkov believes.

"Ukrainian metallurgy has remained and remains one of the leading industries of Ukraine's industrial complex. With the ban on the import of a certain range of metal products from Russia, as well as from third countries whose metal products used Russian metallurgical components in production, Ukrainian metal producers have an additional chance to increase the stability and scale of their participation in European technological chains by fully or partially replacing Russian products with Ukrainian ones, which we will undoubtedly benefit from," says the president of Ukrmetallurgprom.

Recall that the new package of sanctions has affected the prohibition of metallurgical imports from the Russian Federation, specifically concerning pig iron and ferroalloys. Meanwhile, the EU has eased the conditions for the import of Russian billets and semi-finished products of alloy steel, extending the transitional period.