As the EU has introduced new sanctions against Russia over the Siemens scandal, it continues to oppose anti-Russian sanctions imposed on Moscow by Washington.
The Siemens scandal is a dispute between Berlin and Moscow after Siemens, the German industrial giant, complained that a Russian customer had shipped electrical generation machinery to Crimea instead of its intended destination in southern Russia. The German company said four gas turbines sold to Technopromexport had been illegally moved to Crimea, twice as many as previously known. “This development constitutes a blatant breach of Siemens’ delivery contracts, trust and E.U. regulations,” the company said in a statement. Siemens also acted to cut ties with a Russian partner, a further sign of deteriorating trade relations with Russia, once seen as a promising market for German cars, machinery and other goods.
Although in the past the European Union used to support Washington‘s political strategy toward Russia, now Brussels seems to get more and more independent from its ally.
According to Italian political expert Gianluca Savoini, one of the reasons why the EU has changed its position is that Brussels wants to harm Trump, and thus help the American political elite that seeks his impeachment.
“Europe seeks independence from the US and believes that the US government shouldn’t interfere in European politics and act against European interests. However, America have always done this before, and Juncker and other European leaders are now against it only because Donald Trump has become the US president,” Savoini noted.
According to the expert, it is premature to think that Europe will make any decisive steps to question Washington’s decisions. Although European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker earlier said that EU members are seriously concerned about the outbreak of a new Cold War, it doesn’t mean that Brussels will drastically change its policy.
“I don’t believe that the EU government, which often acts contrary to the interests of its citizens and never addresses their real problems, can indeed take countermeasures against the US. If they do it, the only reason would be the desire to harm Trump,” the expert concluded.
On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump signed into law a new batch of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. In particular, the law stipulates sanctions against Russia’s defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restricts dealings with Russian banks and energy companies. The sanctions were criticized by several EU countries as contradicting with their economic interests.