EU "Sounds Alarm" Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else.

As Reuters reports, the European Union "sounded an alarm on Saturday" about moves in the U.S. Congress to step up U.S. sanctions on Russia, urging Washington to keep coordinating with its G7 partners.  In a statement by a spokeswoman after Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress reached a deal that could see new legislation pass, the European Commission warned of possibly "wide and indiscriminate" "unintended consequences", especially on the EU's efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russia, adding that "unilateral measures" by the US could undermine transatlantic unity.

"We highly value the unity that is prevailing among international partners in our approach towards Russia's action in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions. This unity is the guarantee of the efficiency and credibility of our measures," the Commission said in its statement.

 

"We understand that the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations," it went on, referring to a bill passed in the U.S. Senate last month and to which lawmakers said on Saturday they had unblocked further obstacles.

 

"As we have said repeatedly, it is important that any possible new measures are coordinated between international partners to maintain unity among partners on the sanctions that has been underpinning the efforts for full implementation of the Minsk Agreements," the Commission said, referring to an accord struck with Moscow to try to end the conflicts in Ukraine.

 

"We are concerned the measures discussed in the U.S. Congress could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests. This impact could be potentially wide and indiscriminate, including when it comes to energy sources diversification efforts.

 

"Sanctions are at their most effective when they are coordinated. Currently our sanctions regimes are coordinated. As a result their impact on the ground is increased and through coordination we are able to avoid surprises, manage potential impact on our own economic operators and address collectively efforts to circumvent such measures. Unilateral measures would undermine this," the Commission said.

 

"We therefore call on the U.S. Congress/authorities to engage with the partners, including the EU, to ensure coordination and to avoid any unintended consequences of the measures discussed."

Furthermore, Germany has already warned of "possible retaliation" if the United States moves to sanction German firms involved with building a new Baltic pipeline for Russian gas. EU diplomats are concerned that a German-U.S. row over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russia's state-owned Gazprom could complicate efforts in Brussels to forge an EU consensus on negotiating with Russia over the project.

The proposed restrictions against Moscow are part of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, aimed not only at Tehran, but also North Korea. Passed by the Senate last month, the measures seek to impose new economic measures on sectors of Russia’s economy. Among the new anti-Russia proposals, the legislation aims to introduce individual sanctions for investing in Russian pipeline project. It also outlines steps to hamper construction of Russia’s Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and is the reason why America's European allies are on edge, worried they may be penalized for continuing a project in which they have already invested hundreds of millions.

The House is set to vote on the proposed legislation Tuesday, Brussels has already registered its unease even before the bill hits Donald Trump’s desk, urging Washington to consider European interests, especially in the energy sector. Noting that “the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations,” the European Commission has asked its American partners to coordinate measures against Russia with Europe and the rest of the G7.  

One month ago, we reported that Austria and Germany accused the U.S. of having ulterior motives in seeking to enforce the energy blockade, which they said is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They also warned the threat of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project "introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations."  At the time, the foreign minister of Austria and Germany, Kern and Gabriel, urged the United States to back off from linking the situation in Ukraine to the question of who can sell gas to Europe. "Europe's energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America," Kern and Gabriel said. The reason why Europe is angry Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don't pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

Fast forward to today, when Reuters quoted the European Commission saying that “as we have said repeatedly, it is important that any possible new measures are coordinated between international partners to maintain unity among partners on the sanctions." It added that “we are concerned the measures discussed in the US Congress could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests."

“This impact could be potentially wide and indiscriminate,” the Commission warned. “We therefore call on the US Congress/authorities to engage with the partners, including the EU, to ensure coordination and to avoid any unintended consequences of the measures discussed.

Addressing the proposed bill, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow takes an “extremely negative” view of the new developments. President Vladimir Putin earlier cautioned that any new sanctions against Russia will only make US-Russian relations worse.

But it wasn't just Russia and Europe eager to warn the US that any ongoing attempts to trap Trump into perpetuating the Deep State's Russian policies would backfire: ahead of Congress clearing all potential hurdles for the bill, a number of American multinationals – including ExxonMobil, General Electric and Boeing, as well as MasterCard and Visa – raised concerns that the punitive measures will ultimately harm their interests, rather than that of the Kremlin.

Comments

Erek Atomic Punk Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:04 Permalink

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U.S. Congress: Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

In reply to by Atomic Punk

GUS100CORRINA Erek Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

EU "Sounds Alarm" Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens RetaliationMy response: If an HONEST poll was taken, I believe a majority of Americas have absolutely no idea what our legislators even did regarding Russia. In addition, most Americans would ask the question: "Now tell me why we put sanctions on Russia again?"Yes indeed the phrase "Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups" is very true.

In reply to by Erek

Creative_Destruct HowdyDoody Mon, 07/24/2017 - 01:46 Permalink

AHHH!  I love the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning!Smells like…. :“…the EU's efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russia, adding that "unilateral measures" by the US could undermine transatlantic unity.”“EU diplomats are concerned that a German-U.S. row over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russia's state-owned Gazprom could complicate efforts in Brussels to forge an EU consensus on negotiating with Russia over the project.” Gonna diversify AWAY by getting that pipeline built and becoming MORE dependent…

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Teja MalteseFalcon Sun, 07/23/2017 - 12:47 Permalink

Well, that should be irritating to those Merkel bashers who are pro Putin. Should they now be thankful to Merkel? Outch.In reality, this is all about the flow of money. Too much money earned by Germany through trade with Russia. Merkels predecessor Schroeder was bought outright by the Russians - got a top job at a Gasprom subsidiary after he was voted out of office. 

In reply to by MalteseFalcon

Rubicon727 king leon Sun, 07/23/2017 - 23:12 Permalink

"Germany are dependent on Russia for 44 % of it's trade + trade with Russia keep 360.000 Germans in jobs."Source, please.The major point being is Germany. Its trade has grown enormously in the last several years. They have no intentions of backing away from a better trade with Russia to suit American hegemony. It is sensed that in the future Germany could become a real source of wrathe by US interests.   

In reply to by king leon

new game adonisdemilo Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

The "large groups" are being manipulated by a nefarious bunch of psychopaths and we all know who they are. It's a shame that the "stupid people" are SO stupid that they don't, won't or can't see this.Exactly why this group act with impunity...so few, hardly a voice, labeled as fringe, but post as we do.driven by hope.skip to my (water) lo.and don't forget the rope...

In reply to by adonisdemilo

crossroaddemon flash338 Sun, 07/23/2017 - 12:22 Permalink

Brutal honesty? On some intuitive level they get what you don't: that there is fuck-all we can do about it. My attitude is play with my kids, pick guitar, and grab as much pussy as I can talk into a horizontal position because what we can do to fix anything is exactly dick. The deep state is undefeatable at this moment in history, and neither me or you or Donld Trump can stop it or even slow it down.

In reply to by flash338

veritas semper… GUS100CORRINA Sun, 07/23/2017 - 13:41 Permalink

They are trying to stop the construction of North stream II to Germany and have sanctioned the 8 componies financing it(2 Germans,1 French,2 Dutch,1Italian,and I forget the others).they think they can force Europe to buy their LNG.This bill,like the sanctions against Iran,WHO COMPLIED with the nuclear treaty,as opposed to Jewmerica ,WHO DID NOT,are pure BS.The President IS GOING TO SIGN IT. At the G20 meeting,the Donald was trying to make all the EU countries to stop doing business with Iran.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

VIS MAIOR silvermail Sun, 07/23/2017 - 14:11 Permalink

best comment and true . comment of the year!  hope zero will write more about this ..al people who hate russia are from england/ireland and  invade to usa in last centuries .. Mccain.. lindsay.. its all irish shit hate to russia !! .. a if eu cut off ireland that tax free benefits .like for apple and other.. ireland become second hunger in history . and i want this !

In reply to by silvermail