The US House of Representatives approved by a 419-3 vote on Tuesday a new version of a bill that would impose sweeping sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, and limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift the restrictions on Moscow. The measures target Russia’s defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries, and restrict dealings with Russian banks and energy companies.
France and Germany have so far spoken out against the bill as it affects European industries while advancing US commercial interests.
“This is not an easy or a painless issue for the European Union, therefore it is necessary to begin US-EU talks. These sanctions would have direct consequences for other countries, not even for Russia,” Niinisto told a press conference following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Finnish president noted that the European Union was discussing the issue of sanctions, and added that he shared “Putin’s vision for better mutual understanding across the world.”
In April, Gazprom’s subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG signed a deal with French Engie, UK’s Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, which agreed to provide part of long-term financing of the gas pipeline project, estimated at 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).
The Nord Stream 2 project presumes the construction of two gas pipelines with a combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The new pipeline is planned to be laid along the existing Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea, on to a hub in Germany.