EU “Sounds Alarm” Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else.

EU "Sounds Alarm" Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

President Trump at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

As Reuters reports, the European Union “sounded an alarm on Saturday” about moves in the U.S. Congress to step up U.S. sanctions on Russia, urging Washington to keep coordinating with its G7 partners.  In a statement by a spokeswoman after Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress reached a deal that could see new legislation pass, the European Commission warned of possibly “wide and indiscriminate” “unintended consequences”, especially on the EU’s efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russia, adding that “unilateral measures” by the US could undermine transatlantic unity.

“We highly value the unity that is prevailing among international partners in our approach towards Russia’s action in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions. This unity is the guarantee of the efficiency and credibility of our measures,” the Commission said in its statement.

“We understand that the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations,” it went on, referring to a bill passed in the U.S. Senate last month and to which lawmakers said on Saturday they had unblocked further obstacles.

“As we have said repeatedly, it is important that any possible new measures are coordinated between international partners to maintain unity among partners on the sanctions that has been underpinning the efforts for full implementation of the Minsk Agreements,” the Commission said, referring to an accord struck with Moscow to try to end the conflicts in Ukraine.

“We are concerned the measures discussed in the U.S. Congress could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests. This impact could be potentially wide and indiscriminate, including when it comes to energy sources diversification efforts.

“Sanctions are at their most effective when they are coordinated. Currently our sanctions regimes are coordinated. As a result their impact on the ground is increased and through coordination we are able to avoid surprises, manage potential impact on our own economic operators and address collectively efforts to circumvent such measures. Unilateral measures would undermine this,” the Commission said.

“We therefore call on the U.S. Congress/authorities to engage with the partners, including the EU, to ensure coordination and to avoid any unintended consequences of the measures discussed.”

Furthermore, Germany has already warned of “possible retaliation” if the United States moves to sanction German firms involved with building a new Baltic pipeline for Russian gas. EU diplomats are concerned that a German-U.S. row over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russia’s state-owned Gazprom could complicate efforts in Brussels to forge an EU consensus on negotiating with Russia over the project.

The proposed restrictions against Moscow are part of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, aimed not only at Tehran, but also North Korea. Passed by the Senate last month, the measures seek to impose new economic measures on sectors of Russia’s economy. Among the new anti-Russia proposals, the legislation aims to introduce individual sanctions for investing in Russian pipeline project. It also outlines steps to hamper construction of Russia’s Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and is the reason why America’s European allies are on edge, worried they may be penalized for continuing a project in which they have already invested hundreds of millions.

The House is set to vote on the proposed legislation Tuesday, Brussels has already registered its unease even before the bill hits Donald Trump’s desk, urging Washington to consider European interests, especially in the energy sector. Noting that “the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations,” the European Commission has asked its American partners to coordinate measures against Russia with Europe and the rest of the G7.

One month ago, we reported that Austria and Germany accused the U.S. of having ulterior motives in seeking to enforce the energy blockade, which they said is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They also warned the threat of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project “introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations.”  At the time, the foreign minister of Austria and Germany, Kern and Gabriel, urged the United States to back off from linking the situation in Ukraine to the question of who can sell gas to Europe. “Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America,” Kern and Gabriel said. The reason why Europe is angry Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

Fast forward to today, when Reuters quoted the European Commission saying that “as we have said repeatedly, it is important that any possible new measures are coordinated between international partners to maintain unity among partners on the sanctions.” It added that “we are concerned the measures discussed in the US Congress could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests.”

“This impact could be potentially wide and indiscriminate,” the Commission warned. “We therefore call on the US Congress/authorities to engage with the partners, including the EU, to ensure coordination and to avoid any unintended consequences of the measures discussed.

Addressing the proposed bill, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow takes an “extremely negative” view of the new developments. President Vladimir Putin earlier cautioned that any new sanctions against Russia will only make US-Russian relations worse.

But it wasn’t just Russia and Europe eager to warn the US that any ongoing attempts to trap Trump into perpetuating the Deep State’s Russian policies would backfire: ahead of Congress clearing all potential hurdles for the bill, a number of American multinationals – including ExxonMobil, General Electric and Boeing, as well as MasterCard and Visa – raised concerns that the punitive measures will ultimately harm their interests, rather than that of the Kremlin.

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  • stringball

    The Unite$hit$ is running out of friends. When they start to run out of funds, it’s Game Over.

    • FlorianGeyer

      I do hope so.

    • Nigel Maund

      I’m totally surprised they still have any! Their behavoir is that of an overbearing bully and out of control criminal whose double standards are completely brazen and just beggar belief!. Anyone who feels the US has any moral compass or concience remaining must be living in “cloud cuckoo land”. The Deep State are outright criminals a Nazi’s worse than the horrific earlier versions. After all it was the US (Alan Welsh Dulles (OSS), Averell Harriman and Bush as Executive Director of Esso) who supported the Nazi’s pre Pearl Harbor and supplied the Wehrmacht with Ford trucks and ethylene glycol engine coolant for the Luftwaffe Me109’s and Fw190 interceptors. It was Alan Welsh Dullles who dreamed up CIA operations “Paperclip” (to get all Nazi scientists to the US for the MIC) and “Ratlines” (all Nazi bigwigs and top SS men to South America amounting to 10,000 men). How about that for hypocricy and double standards. I think maybe the US is the 4th Reich?

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        Zee 4th Reich is already happened und vee are unter zee 5th Reich all Heil Nutty Yahoo !

        • Nigel Maund

          Terra you may laugh and joke but if that it were only a joke I would be happy! Have you not noticed the following in the US:
          1) the extensive Militarisation of the Police who are now armed to the teeth and often indistinguishable from the Army. Indeed, the look way more sinister dressed in black like the Waffen SS of WW2;
          2) the rapid growth of politically correct speech (normally practiced under communist or fascist regimes);
          3) the vast growth to over 100 as yet unoccupied FEMA camps across the US;
          4) the draconian and dictatorial laws granted under Patriot Acts 1 and 2;
          5) the Presidential Decrees signed by Obama in 2013 to the period he left office in which the President has the right to declare Martial Law as and when he deems appropriate and to intern Americans without recourse to the Law;
          6) the rapid progress towards the removal of cash from US society and what this may mean for peoples freedoms;
          7) the plan to RFID chip all Americans which will be implemented before 2025;
          and there’s a great deal more than this; so please do your own homework on the net.

          Dictatorships are developed by long term “cheese slicing” away of the peoples rights and freedoms as defined in the US Constitution and already the US is now a stones throw away from being a dictatorship. 911 greatly accelerated this process as has the never ending “war on terror” and the stage managed terrorist attrocities across the western world. Fascism is the flip side of Communism which are in fact the same things. Yes, by all means laugh at the notion of the US being the 4th Reich but do your homework first. Good luck!

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            The reason it was said and me being funny about it makes people even think more because it is the new reality we face in today’s world.

      • Thegr8rambino

        why did they support the nazis like that?

        • Nigel Maund

          Because they actually were sympathisers and liked the Nazi system. Also, they had a lot of dirty linen to hide after the war.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Why did they like it?

          • Nigel Maund

            Why did over 40 million Germans like it and support Hitler before he became Chancellor in 1933. I think you should read some good history books on the period; for example, the most recent by John Kershaw on Hitler, or, if you like a classic: Lord Bullock’s book Hitler – A Study in Tyranny?

          • Thegr8rambino

            hitler wanted to make germany great again after they were so weakened after ww1

  • Serious

    The more you take sanctions, the more they will be independent and safe from USA. XD.

  • Russell A Wilson

    Message from US congress to EU F##K YOU

    • Red Tick Alert

      We have heard that before and just chuckled then as we do now.

  • Jesus

    This sanction bill is based on presumptuous allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, allegations that have not produced any evidence in spite of all the political drama that has unfolded for the last 6 months. The sanctions are an excuse by the neocons ( who are sore losers) to try and hit Russia again affecting its natural gas and oil sales to Europe.

    They tried that in 2014-15 when the price of oil dropped from 100$ to less than 50$, however the Russians acted intelligently and diversified some of its market to China, an tried to bypass the eastern parasites (Poland and Ukraine) by building the Nordstream and the Turkish stream.
    Since US price manipulation did not work as intended, since many frackers were loosing money and Saudi cash reserves plumeted, the sanctions are another way of keeping the economic war active. US wants to force Europe to buy LNG shipped from US or Australia at the expense of the Russian piped gas.

    LNG is far more expensive than piped gas, therefore, economically there is no competition between LNG and piped natural gas.
    The neocons are going to loose again, and a possible rift between US and Europe is beginning to develop, as Europe begins to realize it is US’ play thing.

    • Amon -Ra- DeArmond

      I saw a guy predicting that Europe would be the biggest rival of USA (a few years back,when Obama was in his first term) I can’t believe how that man was right after watching all of this unfold.I’ll post the link here if I find it tho I doubt it since it’s been so long since I watched it.

      • Bob

        The existing NATO structure ensures that western, and increasingly central/eastern, Europe remain subordinate to US international political and economic hegemony. From perspective of US deep state, this is why Trump’s electoral statements about forcing Europeans to contribute more to the NATO costings are so alarming. As the US deep state consider the existing US centralized and controlled NATO policy as a worthwhile and necessary cost, to ensure ongoing US dominance of a Europe that always has the potential to be a colossal economic rival.

  • Miguel Redondo

    In Germany up to the dumbest politician is aware that the sanctions against Russia are in reality a commercial weapon to hurt german commerce with Russia. The US is still angry at Gerhard Schröder who snubbed George Bush in 2001 with his war in Irak, not participating in it. And now Gerhard Schröder is the european CEO of Gazprom , to make things worse in the eyes of an US-neocon.

    • Lars

      Gerhard Schröder was lied to with regards to the war against Yugoslavia (a war crime), according to the “Willy Wimmer letter” (global research).

      • jj

        Yeah, some even say that Europeans opposed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as they thought it would mean less U.S. involvement and anti-Serb activity in the Balkans.

  • Tudor Miron

    “F$$ck the EU” (c) Madlen Albright or was it another secretary of state?

    • Lars

      It was

      Victoria Nuland, (the wife of Robert Kagan of the Brookings institute) – a witch, murderous witch.

      • Tudor Miron

        Witch indeed

  • Alex

    Pretty sure that Eu will be slapped and will comply with US demands, again. I mean, what can they do, lol, most of their trade is tied to US.

    • What if that tie move to china?

      • Alex

        How lol, do you think that US will simply let them go, i think that US holds up 60 % euro gold reserves still ? I also don’t think that european tycoons would simply move to the inknown territory just like that, plus, US has got also several puppets in eastern european countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Moldavia, they can easily create a new proxy war over there or threathen europe with a new one and force them into submission, so many options…..

        • Gary Sellars

          “US holds up 60 % euro gold reserves still ?”

          So, you think the US can threaten to withhold gold without being branded a rogue criminal state? The Euro-peons will gladly get on their knees and open their mouths to receive Murican cck, but like any whore, threaten their money or refuse to pay and they will bite down hard…..

          • LR captain

            wait let me get this straight the US is holding 60% gold reserves. But the US has almost sold it’s gold reserves. Would this not mean that the US could start selling stolen gold then?

          • Bru

            i think they already have….

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            They have been selling stolen gold and when they have shipped gold covered lead bars to other nations and they found out others realized their gold needed to be checked . That’s why so many started asking for their gold back and the Feds said no to Germany ,EU and other countries.

  • John Whitehot

    could be so dumb in the EU to expect the congress to give a fuck about them?
    isn’t still clear enough who are the real targets of anti-russian sanctions?

  • Thegr8rambino

    wont these sanctions hurt US businesses too? and while we still use their rocket engines to get into space? LOL congress is dumber than a bag of bricks

    • AMHants

      That is why the article states the US companies that are against it. Including Visa and Master Card. Do you remember how they were hit, when they decided not to be accessible in Crimea and play games in Russia? Russia came out with their own version. Exxon. there is so much trade they need from Russia and they lost $billions in the last round of sanctions.

      Those who have written the bill, check out who there sponsors are and how much they receive from them.

      HR1644, reminds me of a good article, including Senator Edward Royce being on the recieving end of over $4 million in sponsorship deals. For some reason he is the 2nd highest recipient of the Pro-Israel/America Alliance. Why would Pro-Israel America interests have problems with Russia? You can understand the energy, agricultural and defence industries, threatened by superior products and demanding the EU market, but, what is in it for the Pro-Israel America Lobbyists?

      The US Bill H.R. 1644 to kill Russian food export and Chinese trade…

      … Authors of the Bill
      Edward Randall “Ed” Royce, a member of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 39th congressional district, is listed as the main author of this bill.

      Edward R. Royce is listed by the non-government political watchdogs as the top second US representative that received pro-Israel campaign contributions – $233,943

      Total Campaign Contributions Received by Ed Royce: $4,041,553

      NORPAC is a bipartisan, multi-candidate political action committee working to strengthen the United States–Israel relationship – $114,243

      Top 10 Interests Funding… READ MORE: https://thesaker.is/the-us-bill-h-r-1644-to-kill-russian-food-export-and-chinese-trade/

      HR 1644: Congress crosses the red line of common sense with bill violating international law; the U.S. can’t control Russian ports without war… https://freeukrainenow.org/tag/hr-1644/

      • Thegr8rambino

        yes very interesting, i wonder then, is trump going to sign it or veto it? because i heard the senate has enough votes to override a veto…can trump do anything after that?

        • AMHants

          The Senate and their sponsors are trying to stitch him up, so who knows what will happen. Nice to see they keep their sponsors sweet and ignore there electorate.

  • Gary Sellars

    Sanctions drive import substitution programs, so there is a very large silver lining to the dark cloud…

    It might also create some cracks in Murican control of their Euro-peon vassal states, and skillful Russian diplomacy can target and widen those vulnerabilities.

    • Thegr8rambino

      yes, US politicians are so dumb they cannot foresee this occuring it seems

  • zman

    “We highly value the unity that is prevailing among international
    partners in our approach towards Russia’s action in Ukraine and the
    subsequent sanctions”. Really? Well as long as you continue to play fast and loose with ‘facts’, you bunch of liars get exactly what you deserve. How does it feel to finally understand what ‘fuck the EU” means. Look to Qatars turn about and give it some thought. Dumb bastards.

  • Floyd Hazzard

    As if the Serfs can’t learn. You mean they don’t remember Nuland and the F*** the EU tirade that have their economies under blackmail sanctions. You mean they still refuse to acknowledge the illegal American funded revolution against the democratically elected government of Ukraine to sit a sstooge Government selected by a half the country started all this. If they think America seriously cares about them then I should sell them the good gas I own under polar ice caps. Tell these Europeans to grow some backbone or shut up.

  • chris chuba

    So if Germany retaliates, how long before James Clapper blames it on Russian ‘disinformatzia’ (why does that clown insist on using an insider term, to sound intelligent?). And CNN will eat it up because they are part of his Disinformatzia without even knowing it. What imbeciles.

    Who is more evil, the guy who dishes out the poison or the steward who serves it to the public and calls it good?

    • cortisol

      Of course, Germans would need to stop the lunatic American implemented policy of accepting turning Europe into the new “North Africa” first before they have any real shot of independence.

    • Thegr8rambino

      its like whos the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him? lol

  • VeeNarian (Yerevan)

    This time the Russian, Germans and Austrians must counter-sanction the US together. Otherwise, the dumb, ignorant and power-hungry US politicians will not get the message.
    No more access to Afghanistan.
    No more access to space with Russian rocket engines.
    Reduce the US diplomatic presence in Russia to a skeleton staff.
    Cancel all purchase of Boeing planes.
    Lets see how the Germans and Austrians stand up to US domination, if they can be bothered.
    If the EU is just a paper tiger, then let all of Europe see it is only Russia that stands up for the whole of Europe against US imperial diktats.

    • Thegr8rambino

      hell yea broseph!

  • XRGRSF

    These poor deluded Europeans just don’t understand that the United States of America is the world’s one indispensable nation. They don’t seem to realize that Americans are exceptional, and don’t need the rest of the world for anything. Bend over EU; here it comes again.

  • cortisol

    What’s this? Corporate American government not obeying corporate interests anymore? Sounds unprecedented.

  • Peter Fastwolf

    most of Europe is a day late and has no balls when it comes to standing up for themselves that is why they joined a gang like the European Union, they jumped into it like a train monkey giving their powers to the americans , because any Europe country that stands up is put down and told to follow the americans by the weak European Union countries in the group, I don’t feel sorry for the European Union countries all they want is weapons and useless money from the world bank’s , in the meantime they are giving up trade and jobs their land and dignity of their people,,,