Brussels to retaliate against Washington if new Russian Federation sanctions are imposed
Jul 27, 2017, 14:40
It is time for the EU to decide whether they want to defend Europeans and European business interests and stand up against what the Americans are trying to do, says MEP Nathan Gill from the UK Independence Party. Countries less affected by Russian energy-related projects, such as Spain, were not aware of the discussion on potential retaliatory measures to respond to the USA move. As explained in my new book, The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas, the changing nature of the natural gas markets are increasingly chipping away at the Russian monopoly over Europe, with growing LNG trade, new US imports and a buildup of new infrastructure to bring alternative sources of gas from the Caspian.
The Kremlin on Wednesday refrained from discussing its possible response to a new package of USA sanctions against Russian Federation before President Donald Trump signs them into law.
"This [the new sanctions] is also a message to the European Union that western members should not make deals over the heads of eastern members", he said. Spokeswoman Agnès Romatet said, "To protect ourselves from the extraterritorial effects of United States (or other countries') legislation, we will have to work to adapt our national policies and to modernize European policy".
Last week, after a long-anticipated bilateral format meeting with US Under Secretary of State, Thomas Shannon, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declared that the United States would not lift immediately sanctionsimposed on Russia even if Moscow met the West's demands. Trump repeatedly pledged during his campaign to try to boost relations with Russian Federation, but allegations that the Kremlin meddled in the vote to get him to the White House have made any signs of going soft on Moscow politically toxic. Jimmy Duncan (Tenn.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.) - voted against the bill, which passed 419-3.
But under the proposed bill, Trump must submit to Congress a report on proposed actions that would "significantly alter" US foreign policy in connection with Russian Federation, including easing sanctions or returning diplomatic properties in Maryland and NY that former President Barack Obama ordered vacated in December.
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Commenting on this point, chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson, said that Europe's politicians should think about whether or not the planned pipeline went along with the sanctions against Russian Federation.
Companies working with Iran and North Korea would also be subject to he sanctions. The document provides the EC with a "public or written assurance" from the White House that Washington will not introducesanctions in a way that affects the interests of the European Union, he added.
"The measures risk breaking the transatlantic and G7 unity", the European Commission said in the note seen by Politico.eu.
Senior Russian officials and lawmakers said Russia was considering measures in response to the new round of sanctions, but Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said it was too early to speak about it. Brussels says the sanctions could impact natural gas production off the coast of Egypt, gas pipelines in Ukraine, and gas projects in the Caspian.
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