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US sanctions on Russia could endanger energy security for EU

A new set of US sanctions against Russia is likely to hurt the EU. Experts feel that any such US penalties on Russia should be coordinated with the EU in the first instance.

The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said that the latest set of US sanctions against Russia could threaten projects to ensure energy security in the European Union.

"Important projects for energy security could come to a standstill if German companies are prevented from participating in Russian gas pipeline projects," Volker Treier, DIHK's deputy chief executive, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.

Treier recommended that sanctions against Russia should only be applied "with caution."

US failed to consult with EU first

US President Donald Trump signed legislation on August 2 imposing further sanctions on Russia over its alleged cyber interference in the US election as well its incursion into Ukraine.

Volker Treier (DW/B.Riegert)

DIHK's deputy chief executive Volker Treier fears that German companies and the EU in general will suffer from the US sanctions

The law includes measures that would punish companies in the US and elsewhere for any work on Russian pipelines - a move, which subsequently could affect infrastructure built for transporting energy resources to Europe via Ukraine, according to the European Commission. The US law was passed without any prior consultation with the EU.

A speaker for the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the implementation of the sanctions should take European concerns into consideration. While the bloc wants to phase out its dependence on Russia for its energy needs, it cannot cut ties altogether.

Moscow is dependent on oil and gas revenues and hopes that its two major pipeline projects - TurkStream and Nord Stream 2 - will allow Russia to increase its market share in Europe. A number of German companies have so far been involved in those projects as well.

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US sanctions on Russia could hit German companies

ss/jlw (dpa, Reuters)

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