BERLIN, July 26. /TASS/. The new package of US sanctions against Russia approved by the House of Representatives of the Congress on Tuesday, may eventually affect the European energy and Germany’s economy, head of the DIHK's (German Chamber of Commerce and Industry) trade division Volker Treier told TASS.
"The new anti-Russia sanctions planned to be imposed by the United States and the fact that they are pegged to the legislation can have exterritorial implications. If German firms are prohibited to participate in the construction of pipelines important projects in the field of energy supplies security may be suspended, in which case it will heavily affect the Germany economy as well," he said.
According to Treier, the German government has already criticized the plans to introduce such sanctions. "Now the European Commission has to make efforts to throw light on the situation and to prevent exterritorial effect of new regulations of the US side. It appears that the US side is pursuing its own economic interests," he said.
Wolfgang Buechele, Chairman of the Board of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, considers it necessary to eliminate the possibility of the US sanctions affecting European firms. "If there are no such guarantees the European Union will have to respond," he said. According to the estimations of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, Washington’s new restrictive measures may not only complicate the construction of new pipelines, but make it impossible to provide maintenance for already existing ones as well. "For Europe this will mean higher prices for energy resources and lower levels of energy security," Buechele said.
The European Commission (EC) will discuss the new package of anti-Russia sanctions the United States are planning to impose at a planned meeting on Wednesday. Earlier the European Commission urged the US to agree its unilateral restrictive measures with partners and warned of potential negative implications that the new package of sanctions can have for the EU’s energy security.
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved on Tuesday a bill envisaging tougher unilateral American sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The document is now to be considered by the Senate. The upper house is expected to pass the bill supported by both the opposition Democratic and the ruling Republic Party. After that the legislation titled "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" will be submitted to US President Donald Trump. The White House has recently signaled that Trump is ready to sign the bill.
The draft law brings restrictions against Russia that were imposed on the base of executive orders of US President Back Obama in connection with the situation in Ukraine and reunification of Crimea with Russia to the legislative level. The issue in about sanctions imposed on March 6 and December 18, 2014, April 1, 2015, July 26 and December 29, 2016.
Particularly, the Europeans are concerned about the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline being mentioned in the bill. According to the document, the US government is to continue efforts to prevent the construction of Nord Stream 2. The bill claims that the project negatively affects the European Union’s energy security, the development of gas market in Central and Eastern Europe and energy reforms in Ukraine. Also, the draft law urges the US government to focus on exports of American energy resources to Europe in order to add new jobs in the country’s own economy.