US sanctions bill on Russia rattles Brussels

By Andreas Walstad 4 August 2017
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US President Donald Trump has approved stricter sanctions on Russia. (PA) US President Donald Trump has approved stricter sanctions on Russia. (PA)

Tighter sanctions by the United States against Russia have unsettled Brussels, which fears they could have a negative impact on Europe’s energy security.

The new sanctions, signed into law on Wednesday, gives the US the right to impose sanctions on companies that invest in or provide goods and services to Russian export pipelines. President Donald Trump reluctantly signed the bill, which gives Congress the power to block Trump from lifting sanctions on Russia, following approval by the Senate and the House of Representatives. 

The sanctions could include prohibiting US financial institutions from making loans to sanctioned companies or persons or preventing US exports of goods and technology. However, it is unclear to what extent the sanctions – if enforced – will directly impact Russian energy projects in Europe and European energy companies. 

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