Sanctions against Russia put Croatia in a difficult position

New additional sanctions against Russia, which was supported by the House of representatives, will further complicate relations between America and Russia, if they will take the Senate and President Donald trump. The consequences of these sanctions can feel and member countries of the European Union, including Croatia.

The fact is that because of the sanctions under the threat there can be many projects which are already being implemented or only planned. Some of them are connected with the desire of Croatia to take over the distribution of gas from Azerbaijan.

On the other hand, the American initiative in connection with the new sanctions, which were supported by both Republicans and Democrats, caused the Moscow disappointment. Russian authorities have threatened to take countermeasures against those who support these sanctions. Russia has prepared economic and political responses that will be applied if the Senate and us President, Donald trump will support the bill. Assume that the extension of the sanctions could hurt many European projects in which Croatia is interested.

“As for us, we, as before, we will follow everything that will decide the European Union. We are not able to act alone, and so Croatia will not take any action, which would not be approved by Brussels,” — said to us diplomatic sources. Still anti-Russian sanctions have caused the Croatian economy great damage, and recent data proves that, without sanctions, exports increased rapidly.

Specific situation

Diplomats in Brussels say that the European Union is once again indirectly become a victim of us sanctions. Therefore, the EU tries to convince the administration trump to abandon the new sanctions or at least mitigate them. Because the relationship between the new American administration and the EU is getting worse, Croatia is in a specific situation. The fact that our country has received great support from Washington in the energy sector. This was confirmed at the recent summit of the “Initiative of the three seas”, held in Warsaw. There President trump praised the efforts Croatia is making to become energy independent. In conversation with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic trump has promised that the U.S. would support Croatia’s energy plans. Now, however, many projects may be under threat due to anti-Russian sanctions.

It is believed that their effects may feel many other European countries, especially Germany, because the sanctions will apply to those companies that are involved in the construction of Russian pipelines. In addition, economic experts from the EU warned that sanctions could threaten projects aimed at reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian energy. So, under the threat may be the southern gas corridor, which should provide Georgia, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia Azerbaijani gas, because the project involved the Russian LUKOIL. New sanctions could jeopardize the entire project.

All concerned

“We hope that we can find a solution and us-Russian relations will not worsen. On it, including running the leadership of the European Union. All extremely concerned, and we believe that in order to protect European interests do not need to take decisive steps”, — said the Croatian diplomats, who, like all the others, are closely monitoring the situation. However, us-Russian relations continue to deteriorate, according to the world’s media, appear on “the unknown land”, leaving no hope for normalization. Sound more and more sharp statements, and Moscow claims that will be “painful” for Americans to retaliatory sanctions. In turn, the European Union talking about the possibility to file a lawsuit against the United States, but soon realized that this could further hurt the European economy.

Of particular concern is the assumption that trump will give the nod to the fines for those companies that work with Russian pipelines, and the introduction of penalties for all those involved in private oil projects. “If our concerns are not sufficiently taken into account, we are ready to take appropriate action within a few days,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

Brussels bluntly said to Washington that it is impossible to put European interests on the last place, and that America should understand that. Moscow, in turn, considers all of this another round of “anti-Russian hysteria”. Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov called the news of the sanctions “very sad” for the development of Russian-American relations, and from the point of view of international law and trade. Moscow is already preparing retaliatory measures against the group, “McDonald’s” in Russia.