Anti-Russian sanctions

The United States has approved a new package of sanctions against Russia. Donald trump was forced to sign against their will the bill, which Moscow has described as “trade war” between the two countries. All this raises concerns of the European Union, especially Germany. The measures taken by the U.S. Congress, essentially aim to punish the enterprises involved in the Russian energy projects. First of all it concerns the construction of oil and gas pipelines, for example, the unfinished construction project of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2”, through which Russian gas must be transported from Russia to Germany under the Baltic sea.

Congress and the U.S. Senate almost unanimously decided to extend anti-Russian sanctions over alleged Russian interference in American elections. But this was done in order to demonstrate to US President Donald Trump, who promised “a new era” in relations with Russia, which power may have the legislative power in the United States should unite both parties. The President did not leave it unanswered and stated that the law on sanctions “have serious flaws” and that some of its provisions are “manifestly contrary to the Constitution of the United States,” in particular because “encroach on the Executive authority to negotiate”.

The white house came into conflict with the Capitol, and Russia acts as a “scapegoat.” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that the signing of a bill to toughen sanctions is an attempt by the American ruling elites “to put trump on the spot.” The Chairman of Russian government went even further in his accusations of the Congress and Senate: “the American establishment completely outplayed trump”. Medvedev predicted that the White house will be exposed to new attacks, “the end aimed at his removal from power”. We will remind that the son-in-law and leader of the United States is involved in the investigation of a possible Russian intervention in the US elections.

If we leave aside this battle the American elite, the anti-Russian sanctions are not welcome in Europe, where they are seen as an attempt to keep the American producers of liquefied natural gas. Gazprom is currently implementing two gas pipeline projects (between Russia and Germany, and between Russia and Turkey), which involved European companies, primarily German. Former Chancellor of Germany social democratic wing Gerhard schröder is now Chairman of Nord Stream AG, which is involved in the construction of the gas pipeline “Nord stream — 2”. For Germany it is important to implement this project in the energy field, as Italy is interested in the completion of the pipeline from Russia to Turkey which will pass through the Balkan Peninsula. The contradictions between Donald trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on various issues become more apparent, whether the measures to combat global warming or the role of NATO and the EU in the world. But in terms of sanctions against Russia, the position of both politicians are very close, although for different reasons.

In any case, the new anti-Russian sanctions approved by Congress and Senate should be considered in the context of the struggle between the Executive and legislative power of the United States for spheres of influence and a global trade war for supremacy in the global oil and gas market. USA puts his hegemony in the field of energy, Europe is in danger of partially losing independence in the choice between natural and liquefied gas, and Donald trump is trying to escape from attacks by the nominating party.