Russian Sanctions, EU, Nord Stream, Germany and the U.S Explained
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The United States has recently issued a new set of sanctions against Russia. Which have received harsh criticism, including Russia dismissing large portion of the United States’ diplomatic mission in the Country. Germany has also heavily criticised the bill, saying that the EU should take steps to protect its own interests. Germany’s outspoken condemnation of the sanctions is a drastic change from its past support for US’ Russia Policy. In todays report we look deeper into the new set of sanctions and understand why Germany is so critical. it has to do with the Nord Stream gas Pipeline.
Germany’s economics minister on July 31 urged the European Union to fight back against new sanctions by the United States that could penalise Western companies doing business with Russia.
The provisions passed by congress would give the Trump administration the option of imposing sanctions on companies helping develop Russian export pipelines, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas to Europe, in which German companies are involved.
Nord Stream 2 is important for Germany. But it has been fiercely criticised by central and eastern Europeans. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council and a former Polish prime minister, is a vocal critic of the pipeline, urging strict regulation of a project he has said would strengthen Moscow. Writing for CEPA, Edward Lucas said “ Sadly, the European Commission has been unable to find a legal means of stopping Nord Stream 2. Just as sadly, the German government has put business relations with Russia ahead of its allies’ interests.”
German Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries said in an interview published by on July 31 that
"We consider this as being against international law, plain and simple,"
"The Americans can’t punish German companies because they have business interests in another country,” Zypries said. "Of course, we don't want a trade war. But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures."
Zypries said Berlin had repeatedly asked Washington not to include the provisions affecting European companies in a broader bill targeting Russia with sanctions over its alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election, aggression in Ukraine, and other matters.
"Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing. That means that it is right that the European Commission now considers countermeasures," she said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned last week that "if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days" of the provisions taking effect.
The United States has for years opposed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying it will only increase European dependence on Russia for natural gas when Western allies should be diversifying their energy sources away from Russia.
But the sanctions bill represents the first time Washington has taken concrete action in its opposition to the pipeline that could lead to punitive measures against European companies.
The new sanctions are also coupled with provisions encouraging European countries to purchase liquefied natural gas from the United States as an alternative to relying on Russian gas.
1 лет назад