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Europe must oppose US sanctions against Russian gas pipelines — Austrian chancellor

Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern believes it is wrong to advance political interests by economic means

VIENNA, June 20. /TASS/. Europe should oppose US pressures on European companies participating in joint projects with Russia for supplying gas to the European market, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern told the Austrian World Summit for climate on Tuesday.

"Gas is to become the technology that will build a link to clean energy. It is wrong to put the stake on coal. It is regrettable the US Senate last week made a decision to expand the threat of sanctions to all companies that participate in joint energy projects with Russia. Specifically, the measure applies to the construction of new gas pipelines expected to compensate for dwindling exploration and development in the North Sea," Kern said.

"I cannot accept such an approach. Europe should decide on its own how to meet its energy demand. It is important for us to guarantee jobs in industries. We are against the bill that has received support from the US Senate, which maintains that US liquefied natural gas is to have a new market in Europe," Kern said.

He believes it is wrong to advance political interests by economic means.

"We will be defending ourselves and we will take into consideration European and Austrian interests," Kern said.

The US Senate on June 15 voted for a bill tightening sanctions against Russia. The bill is now to go before the House of Representatives for approval and then be submitted to President Donald Trump for signature.