By The Associated Press
The European Union is banning Russian coal imports. It’s a big step because it’s the first time the 27-member European Union has shown willingness to touch energy supplies from Russia. And it will cost Russia some 4 billion euros a year. But that pales in comparison to the money Russia gets from oil and natural gas. Europe can get coal elsewhere, but a natural gas cutoff could lead to higher inflation, industrial shutdowns and a recession. Top EU officials say oil and gas are still on the table, but there’s no consensus for a boycott now. But gruesome pictures of bodies in Ukraine are keeping the debate going.