Trade group European Aluminium is mulling a push for European Union sanctions on imported Russian aluminium without targeting UC Rusal, the country’s preeminent smelter of the metal.
According to Reuters, the document dated from this month discussed the potential of European Aluminium “actively calling for EU sanctions on Russian aluminium.”
However, the organization noted that targeting Rusal would complicate matters due to its operations around the globe.
“European Aluminium (therefore) recommends avoiding that EU sanctions would target Rusal as a company.”
For its part, Rusal did not respond to the news agency’s request for comment.
European Aluminium Director General Paul Voss commented to Reuters that the document in question was purely for internal consumption.
“Our members asked us to consider the issue and this is purely an internal exercise. There is no suggestion at all as far as I’m aware that the Commission is planning any new sanctions at this stage.”
Across the Atlantic, the Aluminium Association said it has monitored the situation in Ukraine and supports any measures taken against Russia “including new tariffs on aluminum imports from Russia announced earlier this year.”
At present, only a small fraction of aluminium imports from Russia are restricted by the EU, and no talks are currently underway about expanding those restrictions after they were adopted last month. Meanwhile, the United States government is discussing a plan to impose a 200-percent tariff on aluminium and aluminium products imported from Russia, while Great Britain has announced plans to bar completely imports of aluminium, copper, diamonds, and nickel.
Rusal smelted 4 million metric tons of aluminium in 2022, accounting for 6 percent of the global supply. The company filled 12 percent of EU imports last year, about half of its total from 2018. Russian imports of aluminium make up less than 3 percent of the total aluminium imported into the United States.