Russia has hit back against the US decision to impose new sanctions against it, Iran and North Korea (‘DPRK’). On 25 July, America’s House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for new sanctions to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and for the 2014 annexation of Crimea, with President Trump signing the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act on 2 August.
In response, Moscow has ordered a reduction in the number of US diplomatic personnel in Russia and the suspension of the use of storage facilities and a holiday property used by US diplomats. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which announced the measures on 28 July, said: ‘Russia reserves the right to resort to other measures affecting US’ interests on a basis of reciprocity.’
Certain EU Member States are worried about energy security following approval of the US bill. Germany and Austria have expressed fears that the sanctions could affect European businesses involved in the natural gas sector, as part of the bill targets the Nord Stream 2 project for a new pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.