High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has said he was deeply concerned over the growing use of sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, by the US against European companies and interests.
“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 on Friday, Xinhua reported.
Emphasizing 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.”On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas rejected Washington’s latest threat of sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
The Kremlin also said on Thursday that Washington’s threat to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 as well as the second line of the TurkStream pipeline stretching from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea is “unfair competition”.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent fresh warnings of possible sanctions to companies involved in Nord Stream 2 and the second line of the TurkStream pipeline.Pompeo claimed that the projects are not commercial but serve as Moscow’s tools to exploit European dependence on Russia’s energy supplies.