11:50 GMT27 November 2020
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    New US Sanctions Law Against Russia, Iran, N Korea Signed: Consequences (91)

    The European Union managed to influence the softening of some wordings of the US law on sanctions, including against Russia, in the process of its approval, Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview with Sputnik.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker earlier expressed satisfaction with the softening of the sanctions bill. Europeans were concerned about the fact that sanctions allowed to fine European companies too for participation in joint energy projects with Russia, in particular, in the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 project.

    "Indeed, here I can confirm on the basis of information I have that during the preparation and passage of the law, EU representatives, both in national capacity and through the EU representation in Washington, actively worked with both the presidential administration and the US Congress. They actually managed to correct something," Chizhov said.

    On Wednesday, Trump signed into law a bill that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress to tighten restrictive measures on Russia, North Korea and Iran. The law prevents the US president from removing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval. Trump characterized the legislation as being significantly flawed.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday characterized the new US anti-Russian sanctions bill signed into law by President Donald Trump as a declaration of "full-fledged economic war." Medvedev also said now there was no hope for making Russia's relations with the new US administration better. Yet, Nauert contended "there is always hope for improvement."

    On Thursday, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said during a UN Security Council meeting that sanctions should not be used for economic reasons but only as a tool for resolving crises.

    The new US law on sanctions, including against Russia, should make the European Union think about what the reckless use of sanctions tools leads to, Chizhov added.

    "This… story, I think, should still make the European Union and its member countries, and public opinion, ponder what the reckless use of sanctions tools leads to," Chizhov said.

    Chizhov also told Sputnik that he believes the European Union does not like the new US law that toughens sanctions on Moscow.

    "The EU reaction to this mad initiative of Washington was time-extended as well as the adoption of the bill. Of course, the Europeans do not like this law. Actually, Trump also dislikes it," Chizhov said in an interview.

    The Russian envoy said that Brussels might have taken Russia's position on the new US sanctions into account.

    "In fact, our arguments are heard here. However, sometimes that does not transform into specific decisions made by the European Union," Chizhov added.

    He also called on Russia not to fall into euphoria concerning the EU reaction to the new sanctions.

    "In two key EU countries [France and Germany], this bill was called a violation of the international law," Chizhov said adding that at the same time a number of EU states voiced no criticism of the new sanctions.

    The envoy added that the European Union could have behaved more independently when it came to the new sanctions.

    New US Sanctions Law Against Russia, Iran, N Korea Signed: Consequences (91)
    anti-Russian sanctions, Nord Stream-2, European Union, US, Russia
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