New US sanctions against Russia might affect EU as well

  • Michaela Ceklová
  • 19.6.2017 15:21

On 15 June, the US Senate voted to extend sanctions against Russia, which also target EU countries involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Primarily targeted are Germany and Austria, German BASF and Austrian OMV are among the five European companies planning to engage in the pipeline construction. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern are blaming the US for an unacceptable intervention in the EU energy sector. Given that Nord Stream 2 is practically competitive to liquefied gas (LNG) sold from the US to Europe, EU states will not tolerate the strengthening of US economic interests through sanctions the two has said.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is also criticised by the Central and Eastern European states, and its planned construction will also affect Nordic countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark, as Nord Stream 2 passes through their exclusive economic zones and territorial waters. These countries are pushing the European Commission (EC) for a final decision to grant a building permit to Russian Gazprom. The EC announced on 14 June that it plans to bring both the supporters and opponents of Nord Stream 2 to the negotiating table and to guarantee Ukraine the position of a transit country for Russian gas to the EU. The original intention of Nord Stream 2 was to omit Ukraine, which would then lose the advantageous position of a transit country.

About author: Michaela Ceklová

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