Participants in the EU summit on Friday postponed imposing economic sanctions on Russia. The move comes a day after an advertizing campaign by two top US business lobbies warned of the negative impact on US companies.
“Preliminary consultations show that today almost no leaders of EU states find it necessary to impose trade and economic sanctions on Russia,” a source in the delegation from a Western European country said with confidence to ITAR-TASS.
However the European officials carried out preparatory work on possible sanctions to implement against Russia if the situation in Ukraine demands so.
Sanctions will be most effective if the main trade partners from Europe take part, the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. The Obama Administration doesn't want to put US companies in unprofitable conditions in terms of the competition should it introduce further sanctions against Russia, he added.
The US needs the EU as a partner in enforcing economic measures as the trade volume between Russia and Europe of $330 billion is almost ten times Russia-America trade.
On Wednesday the main US newspapers published advertisements by leading business groups saying new sanctions against Russia will first of all harm national companies.
The advertisement titled “America’s interests are at stake in Russia and Ukraine” and signed by Jay Timmons, President of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Thomas J. Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, were placed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and other major newspapers.
“With escalating global tensions, some US policy makers are considering a course of sanctions that history shows hurts American interests,” reads the advertisement. “We are concerned about actions that would harm American manufacturers and cost American jobs.”
Donohue draws parallels between the present threat of sanctions with ineffective grain embargo which US President Jimmy Carter imposed against the Soviet Union after its invasion of Afghanistan and which was cancelled by President Ronald Reagan.
“US workers and industries pay the cost of unilateral economic sanctions that have little hope of increasing the United States’ ability to achieve its foreign policy goals is said in the statement,” the authors conclude.