European Union threatens retaliation over US sanctions bill against Russia

(Keep in mind the Israel Anti Boycott Act (also written by AIPAC) imposes sanctions on European nations (and the whole of the EU) if they don’t bow to Israel’s demands and stop supporting boycotts against Israeli products made illegally in occupied territory. Israel has it in for Russia because they are standing between them and the prize they covet in the Golan Heights and we all know what problem they have with Iran.)

by Alex Lantier from WSWS

The European powers reacted sharply yesterday to the US House of Representatives’ passage of a bill imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, indicating that it was unacceptable to European interests and that the European Union (EU) was preparing retaliatory measures.

The US bill and the EU reaction expose the fundamental conflicts behind the rapid deterioration of US-EU relations since the election of Donald Trump as US president last year. While European politicians repeatedly attacked Trump, who is widely unpopular in Europe, conflicts are erupting now over a bill supported by Trump’s Democratic opponents (and adopted in a nearly-unanimous vote) as a way to block Trump’s freedom of action in ties with Russia. This points to the deep financial and strategic conflicts between the European powers and the entire American ruling class.

EU, German and French officials attacked the bill, warning that its broad provisions allow Washington to impose sanctions on major European corporations working with Russia or Iran, and thus threaten basic European strategic and energy interests.

The EU Commission issued a communiqué yesterday expressing “concerns notably because of the draft Bill’s possible impact on EU energy independence.” It warned that despite modifications to the bill in the House, the bill still “foresees the imposition of sanctions on any company (including European) which contributes to the development, maintenance, modernisation or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation. Depending on its implementation, this could affect infrastructure transporting energy resources to Europe.”

The US bill threatens to cut off an entire network of critical east-west pipelines transporting Russian gas to European markets, as well as several major European energy companies. France’s Engie (Gaz de France-Suez), UK-Dutch firm Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV, and Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper would all face financial penalties for their participation in the Nordstream2 Baltic pipeline project. Firms involved in transporting gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan and the Russia-to-Turkey TurkishStream pipeline would also be threatened…

[read more here]

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