Major European powers are pushing back against US sanctions recently imposed on Russia in fear that new restrictions could undermine manufacturing output in the European Union (EU) region, the Financial Times claimed on April 20.
On April 6 the US Treasury for the first time targeted Russian publicly listed companies with global presence, making the most effective sanctions yet.
However, after a number of conflicting announcements, the US stopped short of imposing even more sanctions on April 16, with reports suggesting that the US President Donald Trump is looking to walk back the tensions with Russia.
Reportedly, Paris now is asking allies including Berlin, London and Rome to make a joint representation in Washington, fearing that the latest sanctions that have most severely damaged aluminium major Rusal could have consequences on key EU industries from cars to aerospace. The US and its companies have very little exposure to the Russian market, but many leading European companies are heavily invested there and/or have significant trade with Russia. Russia’s agricultural counter sanctions are already estimated to have cost European food producers up to €100bn in lost sales.
“This affects the whole production chain, all the way to car producers and the aerospace industry,” unnamed source told the Financial Times, warning of supply bottlenecks in raw aluminium and aluminium oxide, and of price increases.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are slated to visit Washington separately this week, with economic issues confirmed to be on agendas of both visits.
Both countries previously participated in the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats in response to the alleged Russian involvement of poisoning of ex-spy with military-grade nerve agent on British soil.