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EU Readies for Threatened U.S. Sanctions

The EU Commission is preparing measures to protect the European Union. This is because it is facing threatening U.S. sanctions, which could break international law.

This is with regard to a link to carry gas directly from Russia to Germany, the EU’s foreign policy chief said. 

U.S. senators announced a bill this month, tightening sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed by Russia’s Gazprom.

In stock market news, Washington says the link is due to begin operation early next year. It will then boost Moscow’s economic and political influence in European countries.

The EU’s position on U.S. sanctions against European companies is unequivocal. These are companies that carry out legitimate and lawful activities under European law. 

The Union firmly opposes them as they are unacceptable and contrary to international law. These were statements from Joseph Borrell in a written response dated June 25.

The Commission has been preparing the ground for the adoption of an enhanced sanctions mechanism. It will improve Europe’s resilience to the effects of extra-territorial sanctions imposed by other countries.

Borrell did not disclose what form the mechanism would take, or when it would be introduced.

He made a reply to EU lawmaker Emmanuel Maurel’s question regarding initial U.S. sanctions on the project imposed in December. By damaging the European Union’s economic interests, U.S. sanctions would weaken the two parties. The sanctions would weaken the two parties’ unity against Russia’s actions to destabilise Ukraine. That was after Moscow annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kiev in 2014, Borrell said further.

Strained Relations also Threaten EU Stocks

The U.S. sanctions threat has led the German parliament’s economic committee to hold a hearing on July 1. Also, stock trading news reports German business lobbies have called for rescue funds for companies affected.

Timm Kehler, head of Zukunft Erdgas, said in a statement that such a precedent of extra-territorial sanctions must be avoided.

The adoption of a tightened and retroactive sanctions law would be an unacceptable encroachment. Specifically, on EU sovereignty and the energy security of Western Europe, he said.

Meanwhile, diplomatic ties between Washington and Berlin have declined in recent years. The German foreign minister has appeared to warn that relations between the two countries may never be the same again. 

Their disagreements over defense spending, energy infrastructure, the G-7, and trade continue. 

Heiko Maas said that the alliance with the U.S. might not recover. That is even if President Donald Trump’s rival for the White House, Democrat Joe Biden, won the forthcoming election. This shows how strained relations have become, and they will greatly affect the European stock market.

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