Juncker: EU will defend economic interests vs US' new Russian Federation sanctions

Juncker: EU will defend economic interests vs US' new Russian Federation sanctions”

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

The German Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Wednesday it recommended that the United States launch close consultations with the European Union on the issue of the bill expanding sanctions, signed by Trump.

"The way president Trump deals with this bill will be the deciding factor".

Trump has signed a bill to slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea on Wednesday morning without holding an official signing ceremony. Mr. Trump said he expects Congress to refrain from using the sanctions legislation to "hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine".

"At the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, and at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, I said that if the Americans do so, we would be willing to respond adequately within days meant that much of the intended volume has been turned back when it comes to Russian Federation sanctions", said Juncker, explaining that this would mean that the US Congress has now determined that these sanctions could take place only in consultation with the allies of the US, such as the EU.

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

The European Commission president added that European interests have to always be taken into account during the implementation of the sanctions.

Still, Mr. Juncker warned that if the legislation is implemented in a way that undercuts European interests, "the EU would be ready to react adequately within a matter of days".

"We are ready: we must defend our economic interests vis a vis the United States, and we will do that", Juncker said, according to a transcript provided by his press team. The bloc recently extended its sanctions for an extra six months. It was also changed to apply only to new investments in projects, not to existing ones. He said the sanctions bill was "deeply flawed" but he signed it "for the sake of national unity".

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