MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The United States, using the pretext of countering Russia, wants to push the European Union to buy more expensive American liquefied natural gas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"On orders from ‘across the pond’, the Brussels bureaucracy unleashed a slew of sanctions seriously harming European and particularly German businesses, which lost a piece of the Russian market," he noted.
"The Americans themselves did not incur losses. Moreover, under the pretext of fighting Russia, they want to push Europeans to buy overpriced American liquefied natural gas, and ramp up defense spending," he added.
Lavrov also noted that Moscow would develop cooperation with Brussels at a comfortable pace. "But our multi-faceted foreign policy will not be held hostage to the European Union’s whims," he noted.
The EU began imposing sanctions against Russia in connection with the events in Ukraine, which started in March 2014. On Thursday, on the sidelines of the EU summit, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said that the leaders of the community are united in their intention to renew the anti-Russian sanctions. A European diplomatic source explained to TASS that this means there are no objections to the automatic extension of restrictive measures, which would be made within the next week.
The EU’s economic sectoral sanctions against Russia are in effect until the end of January 2018. Thus, next week EU permanent representatives will extend them until July 31. These measures include financial restrictions on Russia’s leading defense and energy companies, as well as large banks with state participation. In addition, they imply a ban on imports of military and energy technology and high-tech equipment to Russia.
Sectoral measures are one of three sanctions packages adopted by the European Union against Russia. The other two are the blacklist of Russian individuals and legal entities, in force until March 2018, and a set of targeted sanctions (in force until June) in relation to Crimea, forbidding European businesses from maintain any connections with it. Each of these blocks will be extended independently.