Global Geo-political Series: European leaders criticize United States for Russian Federation sanctions

Global Geo-political Series: European leaders criticize United States for Russian Federation sanctions”

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on June 15 for new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy and cementing into law existing sanctions on Russian Federation over its aggression in Ukraine and alleged meddling into the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

This is the first time any top European leaders have confirmed the views of the Russian President Vladimir Putin who alleged that US imposed sanctions on Russia do not hurt the United States but Europe.

Russia's Gazprom is the lead partner in the proposed pipeline created to send Russian gas directly to Germany under the North Sea. While the leaders said that it was important for Europe and the USA to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, "we can't accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies".

"Europe's energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America", the ministers, Sigmar Gabriel and Christian Kern, said on June 15.

A move by US lawmakers to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation and give USA authorities the power to fine European companies that do business with Russian Federation could open a rift between Washington and key European ally Germany.

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The bill now moves on to the House, and it must eventually be signed into law by President Trump.

A draft bill passed by the United States Senate that could lead to further sanctions on investors in Russian energy projects has angered Germany and other partner countries in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

A high-ranking Gazprom official said the proposed new sanctions are really aimed at boosting US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

On top of that, European Union nations, particularly Germany, have been very critical of the proposed sanctions threatening to target investors in Russia's energy sector, as Europe is heavily dependent on Russian Federation for natural gas. It includes language that would prevent President Trump from lifting the sanctions without congressional approval.

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