US Anti-Russian Sanctions to Affect Less EU Energy Projects Than Expected

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the photo bankEuropean Union flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (File)
European Union flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (File) - Sputnik International
The final version of the US bill on anti-Russia sanctions can potentially target less EU energy projects with Russian participation than initially expected, European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Thursday.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed in law the newest package of anti-Russia sanctions. Among the restrictions within the legislation are measures against Russia’s energy projects, including those implemented in Europe. The new sanctions, in particular, counteract the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as the United States believes the project threatens the energy security of Ukraine and the European Union.

"You could see in the final bill that the threshold, upon which energy projects are to be sanctioned with Russian participation, is now much higher, which means much less projects could be potentially affected. This is a good sign but again – it would depend on implementation on the case-by-case basis. We will remain very vigilant," Andreeva said.

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The spokeswoman added that the consultations with the United States would allow the European Union to voice its concerns about targeting certain projects with the sanctions.

"If they [concerns] are not taken into account, we can consider what appropriate measures are to be taken as a response," the spokeswoman added.

The bill has been criticized by the European Union, particularly due to the concerns that the new sanctions will impact its economic interests, especially its energy cooperation with Russia. France and Germany have spoken out against the bill as it affects European industries while advancing US commercial interests.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the new sanctions as "absolutely illegitimate" and responded with its countermeasures, suspending the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow. Russia also mandated that the US cut the size of its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people by September 1.

In April, Gazprom's subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG signed a deal with French Engie, UK's Royal Dutch Shell, Austria's OMV and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, which agreed to provide part of long-term financing of the gas pipeline project, estimated at 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).

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