BRUSSELS – The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Wednesday that the European Union was ready to act if the United States did not take its concerns over energy security into account in its draft bill on Russian sanctions.
Juncker’s comments came in the context of the weekly session at the European Commission in Brussels, during which he warned of possible consequences for energy security in Europe.
“The US Bill could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU’s energy security interests,” said Juncker, warning that “if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days.”
According to a statement released by the Commission after the meeting, the College of Commissioners expressed their concerns over the bill’s possible impact on EU energy independence, as sanctions could be imposed on any companies, including European ones, that have a hand in “development, maintenance, modernization or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation.”
“This 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,” said the Commission statement.
Brussels highlighted the importance of Russian sanctions, but was critical of the US acting unilaterally.
Juncker said that at the last G7 meeting in Italy, which had been attended by US President Donald Trump, he had highlighted the importance of unity and coordination between allies in order to ensure the Minsk Agreements were implemented in full.
“This is a core objective that the EU and the US share,” he said.