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Trade war? EU ready for economic counter-sanctions if US anti-Russia bill signed – top officials

Top economy officials of several EU states say they won’t shun from striking back at the US if the sanctions that would hit Russia’s energy sector and its European partners are signed by Donald Trump. Some suggested EU’s Russia sanctions could also be lifted.

The sanctions bill, approved by the US Senate and sent to President Trump for his signature, would immediately affect Russia-EU projects such as the Nordstream II pipeline project. The companies doing business with Russian oil and gas firms include the likes of BASF, Shell, Engie, OMV, Wintershall and Uniper.

German economy minister Briggette Zypries on Thursday hinted at the possibility of a full-fledged trade war erupting between Europe and the US, if the latter enforces sanctions affecting European companies.

“There is a possibility of counter-sanctions, which the World Trade Organization foresees in this case,” Zypries told German broadcaster ARD, as cited by Die Welt.

Describing Berlin’s response to the possible sanctions as “harsh,”the German media outlet suggested the officials were ready for a “trade war” if necessary.

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