EU To Retaliate "Within Days" If US Imposes New Sanctions On Russia

In what appears set to be major diplomatic showdown between Washington D.C. and Brussels, on Sunday the White House said that President Trump was open to signing legislation toughening sanctions on Russia after Senate and House leaders reached agreement on a bill late last week.

"We support where the legislation is now and will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved and it certainly isn't right now," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" program.

As noted yesterday, congressional Democrats said on Saturday they had agreed with Republicans on a deal allowing new sanctions targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea in a bill that would limit any potential effort by Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow. A White House official quoted by Reuters later said the administration's view of the legislation evolved after changes were made, including the addition of sanctions on North Korea. The official said the administration "supports the direction the bill is headed, but won't weigh in conclusively until there is a final piece of legislation and no more changes are being made."

As RT notes, restrictions against Russia come as part of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, targeting not only Tehran, but also North Korea. Initially passed by the Senate last month, the measures seek to impose new economic measures on major sectors of the Russian economy. The draft legislation would also introduce individual sanctions for investing in Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, outlining steps to hamper construction of the pipeline and imposing sanctions on European companies which contribute to the project.

Other energy projects, such as the Caspian Sea oil and gas pipelines, the Ukraine gas transit, and the Zohr field off the Egyptian coast, may also be affected due to the participation of Russian companies.

Yet while Russia's adverse reaction is to be expected, and will likely lead to immediate countersanctions, perhaps coupled with the expuslion of the aforementioned 35 diplomats as well as confiscation of US properties in Russia, it is the EU's response that will be closely watched.

According to an internal memo leaked to the press, Brussles said it should act "within days" if new sanctions the US plans to impose on Russia prove to be damaging to Europe’s trade ties with Moscow. Retaliatory measures may include limiting US jurisdiction over EU companies. The memo, reported by the Financial Times and Politico, has emerged amid mounting opposition to a US bill seeking to hit Russia with a new round of sanctions. The bill, if signed into law by the U.S. President, would also give US lawmakers the power to veto any attempt by the president to lift the sanctions.

The document reportedly said European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker was particularly concerned the sanctions would neglect the interests of European companies. Juncker said Brussels “should stand ready to act within days” if sanctions on Russia are “adopted without EU concerns being taken into account,” according to the Financial Times.

The EU memo also warns that “the measures could impact a potentially large number of European companies doing legitimate business under EU measures with Russian entities in the railways, financial, shipping or mining sectors, among others.”

The freshly leaked memo suggests that the EU is seeking “a public declaration” from the Trump administration that it will not apply the new sanctions in a way that targets European interests, as cited by Politico.  Other options on the table include triggering the ‘Blocking Statute,’ an EU regulation that limits the enforcement of extraterritorial US laws in Europe. A number of “WTO-compliant retaliatory measures” are also being considered, according to the memo.

Earlier on Sunday, we reported that Brussles expressed its concerns over the sanctions bill, when the European Commission said in a statement that “the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations,” adding that it “could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests.”

As RT adds, on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “we heard of some corrections to the administration’s stance on sanctions and will wait patiently until it is clearly articulated.” He reiterated that Russia believes the restrictions are “counterproductive” and are harming both US and Russian interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned that any new sanctions on Russia will only result in the deterioration of US-Russia relations.

Germany, Russia’s main European trading partner, called the bill “a peculiar move,” also promising a swift response to it. Some American corporations, including BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Boeing, Citigroup, MasterCard, and Visa, have reportedly lobbied against the move.The corporations, according to a CNN report, want changes to the bill, while lobbyists and trade associations have been visiting Capitol Hill in recent days meeting with members of Congress.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the controversial sanctions bill on Tuesday. Previously, adoption of the draft was put on hold as the House was reluctant to pass it, citing “procedural issues.”

With the vote assured passage it will be up to Trump to determine if the feud with Russia dumped on his lap now escalates, and involves European nations who are far closer to Russia in socio-economic terms than they would like to admit.


Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:44 Permalink

would these euro cucks just STFUI'm so tired of hearing from these folksLet them ruin their civilization by themselves, lets make America Great Again! 

PT Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:07 Permalink

Re "Retaliatory measures may include limiting US jurisdiction over EU companies" :  I'm a little lost here.  Why does the US have any jursidiction over EU companies?  Limiting US jurisdiction?  So they'll still keep some jursidiction?I wonder if I have any jursidiction over any foreign companies that I don't know about?  It might come in handy.

In reply to by Dilluminati

PT PT Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:11 Permalink

Would it be more accurate to call it The United States of The Whole World Except For A Handful Of Countries? The United States of The Entire World Except for Iran, Syria and North Korea?The United States of Whoever Has Resources That We Want To Steal?Might want a new flag to go with it.  176 or so stars on it?

In reply to by PT

JohninMK PT Mon, 07/24/2017 - 15:15 Permalink

The strategic objective of restraining Russia has always been Washington's and the European vassal states have always had to go along with it due to financial and political/personal blackmail pressure. Generally, especially in the golden years post the wall going down and the USSR breakup this had no real cost to Europe, indeed the opposite as fortunes were made. However, as time went on and Putin came to power and started to reign in Western Banksters/Russian oligarchs the atmosphere changed and Washington started exert its authority. This culminated in the operation in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions. Whilst the US imposed sanctions had some effect in Europe the counter sanctions by Russia hit European agriculture really hard. So, whilst the US was barely affected Europe bore the brunt, just what would be expected in a Master/vassal relationship. However, up to now the US has been able to hide behind 'its not our sanctions hitting you, its those of the evil Russians' but now that is changing. The move by Congress brings right out into the open the status of the relationship and they are clearly demonstrating that it is not one of equals. I suspect that the members of Congress have no real idea of the impact of what they are proposing, to many of them there is little of importance to them personally beyond getting re-election funds in and beyond the beaches of their east and west coasts. For the first time the US will be saying explicitly and publicly to the World that its most important allies are subservient to it. If they do not kowtow and follow these commands, which run counter to those allies best interests, then they will be punished. This is mind blowing stuff. There are many events that are outside the US's control that could hasten the fall of the US $ Empire but to shoot themselves in the foot like this just shows the quality of politicians there are in the US. The key control/monitoring system the US has, apart from NSA, is SWIFT. I would suggest that the number of enquiries being handled by the Russian/Chinese NOTSWIFT analogue has just gone off the scale.

In reply to by PT

Dilluminati BarkingCat Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:31 Permalink

I guess they dindu nuttin?They should be charged and found guilty as adults.  Really horrific and just plain ass proof that we have challenges here at home that have been neglected way too long.  best of luck with the migrants in EU.But yeah you're exactly right, this is why we need to refocus on America first.… McDonald's customer attacked by knife weilding madman, oh it must be so nice across the pond.

In reply to by BarkingCat

Golden Phoenix Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 14:08 Permalink

Courts recently determined police aren't obligated to save anyone. Why should anyone else be? Do you even know if those kids knew how to swim? For some reason a lot of black Americans don't, including the guy who drowned. So - you expect 14 year olds to go to jail for not putting themselves in danger trying to save a grown ass man? So - now we're going to charge people with crimes for things they didn't do? Should they have called the cops so they could come and beat the kids to a pulp?Were those kids callous assholes? Sure. Were they criminal? No. If being a callous asshole were a crime both of us would've been locked up a long time ago. 

In reply to by Dilluminati

philipat Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:04 Permalink

Where is GhordEUs? As I have been saying consistently, isn't it about time that Europe grows a pair and tells the US to fuck off? The sanctions on Russia have already hurt nobody but Europe and the new sanctions are designed to favor US energy supplies over Russian alternatives, despite BILLIONS already sunk into Nord Stream2. US Imperialist hegemony is ending so it might be a good time for Europe to start having an independent foreign policy and standing up to Washington when the latter's policies conflict with its own interests?

In reply to by Dilluminati

Giant Meteor philipat Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

Let Europe and Russia, and whomever, trade fairly on their own terms ..Of course any thinking person knows why the US cannot allow this to happen ..When a nations largest export product is debt, mere promises to pay, and dressed up with / within a massive security state protection racket, and note the word "racket" .. that is what we are fighting for ..And say what you will regarding Mr. Trump, but these events, aided by the inanity and banality of the hapless, helpless "opposition" has mightily exposed these rackets, like never before, and this my friends is why I cheer all these developments, as the various layers of the deep state , money changing onion, gets peeled back bit by bit, with each passing day ..Of course I must add, there is great and certain danger ahead in the great unwind, the meltdown  ..So be it ..

In reply to by philipat

Giant Meteor how_this_stuff_works Mon, 07/24/2017 - 10:55 Permalink

My answer is, because they are protected rackets, untouchable, unassailable. All corruption, all the time. It is no secret, or shouldn't be, that there are two sets of rules. standards, laws, unequally applied, meted out .. We are NOT a nation of laws, but rather a nation of men ... The department of "Just Us" overseeing ..As an old friend once quipped, many moons ago, graft, grifting, corruption, is a terrible thing, unless you're in on it .. 

In reply to by how_this_stuff_works

Dilluminati giovanni_f Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:48 Permalink

You think that somehow I care what happens in Europe?  I don't.  I'm all about make America Great Again.  Do not care if you have immigration problems self-inflicted, crappy pollution spewing cars, or chainsaw weilding muslims in the streets, raping immigrants in the pool.  I do not care.I care about what is good for America, I'm America first and non-apolgetic about it.

In reply to by giovanni_f

Canary Paint Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 10:17 Permalink

I agree with you if what you mean is working on the problems we have within our country like figuring out how to encourage building small- to medium-sized businesses, that class of business which is pretty much statistically established to be THE driver of new job creation.I don't agree with you if it means cheering whenever some massive multinational conglomerate throws us a bone in the form of a 1000 new jobs because of a tweet, and I don't agree with you if it means trying to maintain or increase a vast military presence across the entire planet nor if it means letting the pentagon sink trillions of dollars into activities that can't be audited.Bottom line: What does it mean to be "great?"

In reply to by Dilluminati

Giant Meteor Dilluminati Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:02 Permalink

Central bankers friend, central bankers and technorats .. the real enemy .. the money changers ..They just cannot leave the people to live in peace ..You see these Kabuki shows have a common root, and as much as one wishes to "make america great" , one must understand that under present arrangements, conditions, that cannot happen .. will not be allowed to happen ..Furthermore, these are mere SYMPTOMS of the disease, and not the disease itself ..No, it is divide and conquer, all the way across the board. I'd be surprised if they don't somehow manage to blow up the world, although perhaps that is what it is going to take for a return to sanity, less a few billion souls of course ..

In reply to by Dilluminati

Ignatius Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:51 Permalink

Israel's interference in our elections is so great we send them billion$ every year (some which, of course, gets recycled back to re-elect our fine Congress).Wake me when we reach that level of corruption.