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LONDON, April 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Major European companies are trying to persuade their governments to abstain from imposing economic sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian standoff, The Financial Times writes on Thursday.
“Europe’s resolve to impose tough sanctions on Moscow is cracking under corporate lobbying, as companies warn governments that any retaliation from the Kremlin could cost them dearly,” the newspaper writes.
According to the publication, Britain’s oil giant BP “is at the forefront of a group of companies who have told British MPs and ministers they are at risk if EU governments decide over the next few days to impose economic sanctions on Russia.”
Among other companies, opposing sanctions against Russia, are Germany’s BASF and Italy’s Eni, the FT writes. “In Italy, the energy company Eni is arguing that Europe, which imports 30% of its gas from Russia’s Gazprom, is in no position to impose energy sanctions on Moscow,” according to the newspaper.
It writes that European companies are not united on the anti-Russian sanctions, as the “sanctions would demand a consensus from the 28-member bloc.”
The article says that US companies have also opposed restrictive economic measures against Russia. “US business groups have also lobbied the administration against introducing sanctions that might lead to retaliation against US interests. The US is also wary about getting too far ahead of the EU in its sanctions.”
The newspaper quotes US Congress sources as saying that a new round of American sanctions may include measures against several Russian businessmen, as well as another Russian bank or a state company. “However, broader sectoral sanctions are not considered likely at this stage,” the FT writes.