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Poland mulls sanctions on Russian coal

World Coal,

Amid continuing violence in Ukraine, between government forces and Russian separatists, Poland may look to use coal imports as a way to hit Russia’s economy.

The foreign minister for Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, has said the country may introduce sanctions on the imports of Russian coal – as pressure mounts on Russia to step up its attempts to deescalate the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“As regards coal, it has been a subject of intense reflection," Sikorski told a news conference when asked about calls for an embargo on Russian coal imports.”

Poland has been among the more vocal supporters in the EU of tougher sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, according to Reuters. The Polish coal industry also competes with Russian imports of coal, which is known as “black gold” in Poland.

Imposing sanctions on Russia has proved controversial among EU member states. For example, Germany, which is Europe’s biggest trading partner with Russia, stands to be hit hardest by a staunch stance from the West against Putin and Russia. Just this week, the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment (which measures investors’ expectations for the economy in six months’ time) plunged sharply to a 20-month low of 8.6 points from 27.1 points in July. Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING, said: "The German ZEW just sent more signs of caution, showing that financial market participants are increasingly becoming pessimistic [as the dispute with Russia continues]."

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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