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What the Russia sanctions upgrade means for Trump and Ukraine

June 16th 2017 - 11:58

With Ukraine and U.S. oil companies at least partially in mind, a new bill passed by an overwhelming 97 to 2 majority in the Senate on Wednesday punishes Russian oil and gas firms even more than the current sanctions regime. The bill goes to the House and will likely pass there as well. Russia has no friends on Capitol Hill.

The latest upgrade reveals a colossal chasm between Republicans and the President, with new additions that may yet put the squeeze on a Baltic Sea pipeline designed to bypass Ukraine as a key transit route for Gazprom natural gas into Europe. The Nord Stream II pipeline is a sister pipeline to the Nord Stream I. It would sit side-by-side and ship Russian gas into Germany. Gazprom's partners in this new pipeline include Engie of France, OMV of Austria, Shell Oil and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall. The pipeline is part of a duo of new transit routes designed to bypass Ukraine, Russia's traditional partner for Europe-bound gas deliveries. The other Gazprom pipeline deal is with Turkey, but the so-called Turkish Stream project is not mentioned in the changes.

What is the impact of these new measures? Forbes spoke about the matter with Sijbren de Jong. The full article can be read here.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Sijbren de Jong is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS and lecturer in Geo-Economics at Leiden University, The Hague. He has a PhD in EU external energy security relations from the University of Leuven and holds degrees in Economic Geography (MSc) from the University of Groningen and Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (MA) from the University of Leuven. His geographical areas of expertise include Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Region; Central and Eastern Europe; and the Western Balkans.