The European Union is ready to take «appropriate steps» in response to U.S. sanctions against Russia if the bloc's interests are undermined, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on August 2, 2017.
«I do believe we are still allies of the United States,» Juncker said, underscoring that European interests can thus be taken into account in the implementation of any sanctions.
But if not, the president warned that the EU is prepared to take «appropriate steps» in response within days if the U.S. sanctions disadvantage EU companies trading with Russia in the energy sector.
«The sanctions would affect energy transport and the maintenance of pipeline systems in Russia which supply the Ukrainian gas transit system. The new U.S. sanctions could also impact EU efforts to further diversify the energy sector, particularly in the Baltic,» said the statement.
Under the bill, companies supporting Russia in building energy export pipelines would be fined.
In particular, the bill singled out Nord Stream 2, a project led by Russian energy giant Gazprom in cooperation with 5 major European energy companies.
In retaliation for the new sanctions legislation, Moscow had already ordered the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia to cut its staff by 755 people.