The proposal was submitted by Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Estonia

At least four EU countries – Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Estonia – have proposed to Brussels to ban imports of ferrous metal waste and scrap, copper, and aluminum from Russia. This is stated in a statement by the Lithuanian Ministry of the Environment.

«Lithuania proposes that the European Commission should evaluate all options at the EU level and propose to suspend imports of waste from Russia to the EU or allow member states to take unilateral restrictive measures. We believe that such imports contribute to the financing of Russia’s war against Ukraine and should be stopped,» Ambassador Jurga Kasputienė, Deputy Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU, said at the Environment Council meeting.

According to the Lithuanian Ministry of the Environment, in 2022-2023, the EU imported more than €118 million worth of ferrous, copper, and aluminum waste and scrap from Russia. Most of these imports pass through Lithuania.

«Cross-border transport of waste is regulated by the Basel Convention and the Waste Transport Regulation, so individual member states cannot unilaterally ban or restrict such imports at the national level,» the statement said.

In February, European aluminum producers, supported by four EU countries, put pressure on the bloc to impose an embargo on aluminum imports from Russia as part of the 13th package of sanctions. Two years after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe still buys 9% of its aluminum imports from Russia. In 2022, about €2.3 billion worth of this metal was imported from Russia.