EU Official Threatens US, Criticizes House-Approved Russia Sanctions
Jul 27, 2017, 14:37
President Trump's White House administration was against the bill, especially sanctioning Russia part, however, a Presidential veto on the Russian sanctions bill would surely face strong resistance in the Congress due to the overwhelming bi-partisan support for such sanctions.
When sanctions were first imposed in 2014 under the Obama administration, it was done in close coordination with the EU.
The approval of the sanctions by the U.S. House of Representatives has angered European Union officials as they see it as breaking transatlantic unity in the West's response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
"What is particularly risky is that supporters of Russian Federation sanctions in Washington are not only trying to put Putin and Trump in the same bag, but also helping the United States economy against foreign competition", wrote the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The White House has been sending mixed messages about whether it will support the bill, which represents a challenge to the President's authority.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that, "with all due respect for the Senate and its ambition to tie President Donald Trump's hands on Russian Federation policy, the draft law is unacceptable from a European perspective".
US legislation renewing and tightening sanctions on Russia, stalled in the House of Representatives, was not passed before the USA and Russian presidents met at the G20 summit in Hamburg. Analysts say that the bipartisan agreement between Democrats and Republicans indicates a determination in Congress to maintain a firm line against Russian Federation, whatever President Trump's view.
In response to the sanctions, Viktor Zubkov, chairman of Gazprom's board and former prime minister stated, "As the project moves towards implementation, the basic design is completed, the construction of the pipes continues, there are now more insinuations and tightening of sanctions against Russian Federation in the field of energy".
The US bill and the EU reaction expose the fundamental conflicts behind the rapid deterioration of US-EU relations since the election of Donald Trump as US president previous year. Jimmy Duncan (Tenn.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.) - voted against the bill, which passed 419-3. Trump has previously said he needs diplomatic leeway with the Kremlin. "Washington pursues purely economic interests by lobbying for American energy companies in Europe". The bill could have "unintended unilateral effects" on the EU's energy security.
The most powerful nations agreed today (8 July) on keeping markets open, but German chancellor Angela Merkel urged the leaders to progress on steel overproduction to avoid a trade war.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "We are working with our European partners on implementing a number of large-scale projects". And also for worldwide law, and global trade relations - according to what information we have on this bill. I guess some will argue that this is the outcome of Russian "offensive" action in meddling in the USA elections, and importantly getting caught out by the US intelligence community.
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