The ESB has said it will not be taking delivery of Russian coal for the foreseeable future.

Earlier today the European Commission agreed proposals to ban imports of Russian coal into the bloc as part of a further ratcheting up of sanctions.

The ESB uses coal to generate power at the Moneypoint power station.

Previously some of that fuel originated in Russia.

However, ESB said it has been monitoring the escalating situation in Ukraine carefully for some time and it will continue to do so.

It said it sources coal for Moneypoint on international markets, currently has significant stock levels and in light of current events will not be taking delivery of Russian coal for the foreseeable future.

Last year 1.67m tonnes of coal, coke and briquettes worth €237m were imported into Ireland from abroad, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Around 1.04m tonnes of that worth €140m or 59% of the total came from Russia, with much of it used for generating electricity and the balance used as solid fuel for households.

However, in January of this year alone, 357,000 tonnnes of coal, coke and briquettes valued at €48m came into Ireland from Russia.

The Solid Fuel Trade Group, which represents a number of large businesses in the domestic solid fuel market here, was unable to say what proportion of the total volume of coal sold by fuel merchants in Ireland came from Russia.

However, one fuel merchant told RTE News that the overall amount is very low, with most Irish distributors not involved in importing any Russian coal.

Most coal imports into Ireland for domestic use come from Columbia and to a lesser extent Poland.

A ban on smoky coal is also set to come into effect from September which would reduce further the amount of Russian coal that would have been due to come into the country anyway.