European Union "ready to retaliate" against U.S. over new Russian Federation sanctions

Posted July 26, 2017

Germany and Austria have railed against the draft U.S. law, but Poland, the Baltic states, and the Nordic states, among others, are opposed to Nord Stream II which, its critics say, would increase European Union dependency on Russian gas and leave easterly European Union states more vulnerable to Kremlin energy blackmail.

"Unilateral measures" could undermine transatlantic unity and have "unintended consequences", the European Union warned.

The reported note of the European Commission, however, might not reflect the latest developments with respect to the draft United States legislation on new Russian sanctions, since over the weekend it was announced that bill was changed to ensure that it did not affect a major pipeline used to transport oil from Kazakhstan through Russia to Ukraine as well as a natural gas pipeline that goes between Russia and Germany, the Nord Stream 2. "That is why discussions about "sanctions themes" - which could potentially obstruct these projects - are a cause of concern for us".

On Saturday, US Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement to clear any further hurdles for proposed legislation which seeks to apply additional sanctions on Russian Federation.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve ties with Moscow, triggering bipartisan concern in Congress that he could lift or ease sanctions against Russian Federation.

In a Saturday statement، the European warned the United States that imposing fresh sanctions against Russian Federation without coordination with G7 countries may have "unintended consequences".

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"We are working with our European partners on implementing a number of large-scale projects", said Peskov, when asked about the possible impact of the new USA sanctions on projects like Nord Stream 2.

Kushner, who was quizzed on Monday by Senate investigators on his contacts with Russians as part of an investigation into possible Kremlin meddling in last year's presidential election, said he had met Sergei Gorkov, the head of Russian state-owned Vnesheconombank, on December 13.

This brought about fears in Germany, where firms are already involved in the project carrying Russian gas across the Baltic Sea.

The new law would also prevent Trump, who is under a spotlight for alleged collusion with Russia, from deleting existing USA measures against Russian energy firms and banks without congressional permission.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in an internal note, described the risk of the Russian sanctions giving the USA power over the European energy sector, Politico reported Monday.

According to the internal note prepared for EU Commissioners, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is particularly concerned about energy-related measures in the sanctions, which he believes could be used unfairly against European energy companies.