Brussels: The European Union’s top diplomat has objected to the growing use of sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, by the US against European companies and interests.
“I am deeply concerned at the growing use of sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, by the United States against European companies and interests,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said in a statement.
“We have witnessed this developing trend in the cases of Iran, Cuba, the International Criminal Court and most recently the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream projects,” Borrell said in a statement.
Borrell was reacting to new guidance issued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that said European companies known to be working on two Russian energy projects run the risk of coming under US sanctions.
Stressing that “European policies should be determined in Europe not by third countries,” Borrell said the EU opposes the use of sanctions by third countries on European companies carrying out legitimate business, and the bloc “considers the extraterritorial application of sanctions to be contrary to international law.”
He said the EU is always open to dialogue, but “this cannot take place against the threat of sanctions.”
The US sanctions target Russia’s oil pipeline projects into Europe, Nord Stream 2 and a second line called TurkStream 2.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline would run from Russia to Europe through the Baltic Sea. Turk Stream 2 is Russia’s project to run an oil pipeline through Europe to Turkey.
Pompeo claimed that the projects are not commercial but serve as Moscow’s tools to exploit European dependence on Russia’s energy supplies.