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EU companies warn policymakers against Russian sanctions

Published time: April 17, 2014 15:49
Reuters / Thomas Peter

Reuters / Thomas Peter

Some of Europe’s biggest companies like UK’s BP and Germany's BASF have told their governments economic sanctions against Russia would hurt them badly. The warning comes as Russia, the US, Ukraine and the EU are discussing the crisis in Geneva Thursday.

Should diplomatic talks in Geneva fail to produce fruit, the US government could unveil new sanctions against Russia as early as Friday, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

German chemical group BASF has been among those worried the most. Italian energy company Eni says, as 30 percent of imported gas to Europe comes from Russia, it automatically makes energy sanctions imposed on Moscow senseless.

BP is concerned about Russia’s reaction, as it owns about 20 percent of Russia’s state owned Rosneft.

On April 16 BP CEO Bob Dudley reassured shareholders that the company would keep "business as usual" with Russia.

While the EU Commission says possible sanctions are “almost finished”, some of the member countries admit that cutting ties with Russia would be painful.

“Are the member states united on this [imposing sanctions]? No. Are they willing to die for Ukraine? I don’t think so,” the FT quotes a senior European official who added that no economic limitations should be imposed without the consent of all EU member states.

“We are not the US, we don’t have shale gas as they do, so any move to sanction them [Russia] would hurt our companies a lot,” said Antonio Tajani, the Industry Commissioner.

Most European countries remain fragile, as they “are getting back on its feet after the worst crisis in decades,” which means they should think twice before cutting off important investment and trade sources, he added.

Comments (11)


Catmandu 20.04.2014 12:51

There will be no meaningful sanctions from the US or EU , the oil companies that pull the strings of these governments will make sure that this is so, already BP, Shell, Chevron to name a few have told their respective governments this, along with German BASF, so it does not matter how much the US backs Nazi groups ( which it has done since 1919). Just search for US companies that collaberated with the Nazis


Erich 18.04.2014 12:05

I think Putin and the russian politicians are playing this smart. Watch Putin almost laugh at the U.S. by saying we are energy independent, we export and have a solid economic plan for the long-term. The U.S. however doesn't have unlimited time and so much of our historical economic growth came from conflict, wars or returning troops with money, benefits and a lot of energy. The world knows the U.S. is a leaking dam, so much of the true condition of our economy is now being hidden from true unemployment, houses owned by the banks, true inflation and it's just begining. the world knows it just has to wait it out.


Max Liberman 18.04.2014 11:42

US wants EU and Russia to be in pain. EUs economy is larger than US and will get bigger because Russia is growing economically and mutual trade is growing as well. When all countries are in pain US wins.

View all comments (11)
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