Science

EU prolongs Russia economic sanctions by 6 months

EU prolongs Russia economic sanctions by 6 months

The European Union formally extended its economic sanctions on Russian Federation on Wednesday.

Paet said it was clear that European Union member states had different interests and points of view about the project. It was agreed past year between European states and Russia's state-run Gazprom, which already supplies about a third of the EU's gas needs.

BRUSSELS, June 26 Thirteen EU nations voiced support on Monday for a proposal to empower the bloc's executive to negotiate with Russia over objections to a new Russian gas pipeline to Germany, despite opposition from Berlin. Some EU diplomats hope that by giving the Commission mandate to negotiate, the project would be delayed, depriving Russian Federation of the leverage in talks with Kiev regarding transit fees. Also, it will strengthen Gazprom's position as the EU's dominant supplier.

European Union leaders endorsed the move last week, charging that Russian Federation had not halted its support for pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine nor put pressure on them to respect a ceasefire brokered by France and Germany which was meant to help end a deadly conflict dating back to early 2014.

Germany, the main beneficiary of the pipeline, sees it as a purely commercial project, with Chancellor Angela Merkel last week saying she saw no role for the Commission.




In a letter to the commission leaked this month, European Council president Donald Tusk said Nord Stream 2 would allow Moscow "to close down the transit route through Ukraine, leaving our partners at Russia's mercy".

Several EU diplomats said the measures proposed by the U.S. Senate have already backfired against their stated aim of bolstering European energy security.

They denounced "the threat of illegal extra-territorial sanctions being imposed on European companies that are participating in efforts to expand Europe's energy supply network".

Denmark even thinks about amending the law to prohibit gas pipeline projects such as Nord Stream 2 and it welcomed the Commission's intention to subject this project to European Union energy policies that prevent energy suppliers from resorting to infrastructure.

"We made the point that the project has no economic viability", the Ukrainian minister said. Nord Stream 2 would bypass Ukraine, cutting off a key revenue source for the ex-Soviet nation.


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