‘America 1st doesn’t mean Europe last’ – EU lashes out at US sanctions against Russia

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
By Paul Martin

RT.com
26 Jul, 2017

Brussels has fired back at the new US sanctions against Russia, saying an “America first” approach does not mean EU interests can come last. Germany and France have also voiced their opposition to the new set of sanctions.

In a harshly-worded statement, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, lashed out at Washington saying “America first cannot mean that Europe’s interests come last.”

He added the commission “concluded today that if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days.”

The EU’s legislative body also argued the sanctions “could affect infrastructure transporting energy resources to Europe, for instance the maintenance and upgrade of pipelines in Russia that feed the Ukraine gas transit system,” according to a press release.

The sanctions bill has also caused a stir in Berlin. “This concerns not only German industry … Sanctions against Russia should not become a tool of industrial policy [pursued] in the US interests,” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told a news conference on Wednesday, as cited by Sputnik.

“In our opinion, it is not in the Americans’ right to judge or stipulate which way European companies may engage in cooperation with any third parties – particularly, with Russian energy companies,” Schaefer said.

Speaking at the same briefing, government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer added Berlin believes “the European industry should not become the target of US sanctions.” She noted it was crucial “to continue close coordination between the US and the EU in the sanctions policy toward Russia.”

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