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US sanctions may push EU to reconsider its Russia policy — envoy

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Lack of accord between Brussels and Washington concerning anti-Russian sanctions imposed earlier by the United States may push the European Union to reconsider the sanctions policy against Russia, Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in a televised interview with the Rossiya’24 channel on Friday.

"Perhaps, I will sound too optimistic but this is possible to get the Europeans to revise their own sanctions policy," he said, adding that the latest US restrictions against Russia had added doubts to the EU about the effectiveness and justifiability of this policy.

"If we speak about the effect Washington’s latest initiatives have had on Europe, it seems to me that on this Atlantic shore [they] have begun to ponder, firstly, over effectiveness of the sanctions which is being doubted more frequently, and secondly, over justifiability of the sanctions pressure on Russia," the diplomat said.

In late July, the US Congress passed a bill to toughen the unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The bill ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ has legalized restrictive measures imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in his decrees. US President Donald Trump was hamstrung by the bill, which limits his presidential power to unilaterally soften or waive current sanctions against Moscow. Under the new law, Trump will need the approval of Congress.

On Wednesday, Trump signed the bill into law dubbing it as "significantly flawed" and saying "it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies." Besides, he accused US legislators of taking Washington’s relations with Moscow to "an all-time and very dangerous low."