Germany pushes for nuclear energy EU sanctions in next package

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BERLIN - Germany is pushing for the European Union to include the civilian nuclear sector in the bloc's new sanctions package against Russia, the Economy Ministry said on Monday.

The European Union in February approved a 10th package of Russia sanctions on the anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but hundreds of millions of euros' worth of trade with Russia's nuclear energy industry has not been directly affected.

"The federal government spoke to the European Commission in favour of including the civilian nuclear sector. That should be part of the next sanctions package," the ministry said in a statement.

All EU countries must agree for the bloc to impose sanctions, and Hungary has vowed to oppose any curbs on the Russian nuclear energy industry.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the fact that the nuclear sector was still given preferential treatment in sanctions could not be justified.

"Nuclear technology is an extremely sensitive area. There can no longer be 'business as usual'," Habeck told ntv broadcaster on Saturday.

The ministry said including the nuclear sector in the next sanctions package would take time, but said such measures should be implemented over transitional periods.

"It is important, however, that we start and do not shy away from decisive action in this area either," the ministry said.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Miranda Murray)

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