19:49 GMT28 February 2021
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    The Chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations said that he hopes that the statement, made earlier by US President Donald Trump, mean that joint pipeline projects between Russia and EU could be relieved from anti-Moscow sanctions.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buechele told Sputnik on Thursday that he hopes that the statement, made earlier by US President Donald Trump, mean that joint pipeline projects between Russia and the European Union could be relieved from anti-Moscow sanctions.

    On Wednesday, Trump signed into law a bill overwhelmingly supported by the US Congress, that stipulates tougher sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. At the same time, Trump released a statement with criticism of a number of bill's provisions, noting that the administration took seriously the EU concerns regarding the energy sanctions provided in the legislation when working with the Congress to improve the bill's language.

    "If Trump is serious in his statements, then, at least, there will be no sanctions against pipeline projects between Russia and Europe, because the decision regarding them should be made by the US president, according to the new law," Buechele said.

    He noted that even if the US sanctions were applied to the European companies and projects, the European Union would take appropriate measures to avoid losses to the European economy.

    The new US sanctions, imposed over alleged Russia's meddling in the US presidential election, are supposed to limit the financing period for sanctioned Russian banks to 14 days, and for sanctioned oil and gas sector companies to 60 days. The law also provides for counteracting the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, as it allegedly threatens the energy security of Ukraine and the European Union, and proposes to export US energy to ensure the energy security of US allies.


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