EU's Juncker Is 'Broadly Satisfied' With US Russia Sanctions Bill

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 3, 2017

"I am still, in fact, we are allies of the United States of America", said the head of the European Commission during a radio interview with the ARD-Europastudio Brussels on Wednesday. The bloc sees the new sanctions adopted by Trump as part of the US' new industrial policy.

The European Union will task itself with protecting its interests, including regarding the United States, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, commenting on the new USA anti-Russia sanctions.

Europe will come up with an "adequate" response and "within days" if the newly-signed United States anti-Russian sanctions law hurts the interests of European companies working with Russia, European Commission Head Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.

"U.S. Congress has now also committed that sanctions will only be applied after the country's allies are consulted".

The bill would let Mr. Trump penalize European companies working on the development, maintenance, modernization or fix of energy export pipelines. "And we will do that", Juncker said.

"I stated ... that if the Americans proceeded [with the adoption of new sanctions], we would be ready to react adequately in a matter of days ..."

"We are ready", he added, pointing out that European Union reserves the right to take retaliatory measures in case its interests are violated.

Both Brussels and Washington have tied the easing of sanctions to Russia's implementation of the 2015 Minsk cease-fire and peace accords.

Among the changes made to the legislation to assuage European concerns as it passed through Congress were a higher threshold of Russian involvement in projects that could lead to European companies being sanctioned.

The bill also said the president in making decisions on sanctions should "continue to uphold and seek unity with European and other key partners". "The new USA sanctions could also impact European Union efforts to further diversify the energy sector, particularly in the Baltic", said the statement.

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