The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, said that if the new US sanctions against Russia impact the European Union’s energy security, Brussels was ready to respond in a few days and present its own reply to the restrictions.
Last Tuesday, the House of Representatives adopted a bill that targeted Russia with new sanctions, which may impact European companies.
“The U.S. bill could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU’s energy security interests,” said the EC’s President in a statement after the Commission’s meeting.
“If our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days,” Juncker said and added that “America first” could not mean that Europe’s interest were last.
The adopted bill allows to punish every company that cooperates with Russia not only in the area of construction, but also modernization and maintenance. This means every European company dealing with Russian pipelines would be subject to US sanctions.
The EC’s statement also said that depending on the implementation of the sanctions, they may have an impact on infrastructure that delivers gas to Europe, e.g. the maintenance and modernization of gas pipelines in Russia, which transmit the gas via a Ukrainian gas network.
“The EU is fully committed to the Russia sanctions regime. However, G7 unity on sanctions and close coordination among allies are at the heart of ensuring the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. This is a core objective that the EU and the US share,” Juncker said.
He also added that the Commission was conveying its doubts through all of the available diplomatic channels.