EU concerned over US bill on Russia sanctions


The EU on Wednesday voiced concern over a U.S. draft bill on Russian sanctions about its possible impact on European energy independence.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said while the EU was "fully committed" to the sanctions on Russia: "The U.S. bill could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU's energy security interests.

"The EU is fully committed to the Russia sanctions regime. However, G7 unity on sanctions and close coordination among allies are at the heart of ensuring the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. This is a core objective that the EU and the U.S. share."

The Minsk Agreements refer to an attempted deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Juncker's remarks come a day after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a new and comprehensive sanctions bill against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

He said if the EU's concerns were not taken into account, it stood ready to act appropriately within a matter of days.

"'America first' cannot mean that Europe's interests come last," he added, a reference to a campaign slogan used by U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to Juncker's statement, depending on its implementation, the sanctions could affect infrastructure transporting energy resources to Europe.

It also could have an impact on projects crucial to the EU's diversification objectives, such as the Baltic Liquefied Natural Gas project.

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