Brussels believes that the absence of measures against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the latest sanction package introduced by the US to be a positive development for Germany, a diplomatic source in the permanent mission of an EU member in Brussels told TASS Thursday.
"It catches the eye that the latest US sanction package does not include restrictions against Nord Stream 2. It is a positive development for Germany who continues to make significant efforts to complete this project," he underlined.
"It can be supposed that the US administration opted not to complicate relations with Berlin over Nord Stream 2, which is unlikely to be stopped keeping in mind the degree of its completion and the money invested by European businesses, while ramping up pressure on Russia in other areas," TASS was told.
According to the diplomat, this step by Washington "can be interpreted as readiness to take into account interests of European allies." "This positive signal is an invitation for European states to take another step towards the US, particularly on the issues of containing Russia," the source added.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on introducing sanctions against Russia. In particular, the US is barring American companies from acquiring Russian debt obligations issued by the Bank of Russia, the Russian National Wealth Fund or the Russian Ministry of Finance after June 14, 2021. In addition, the US Department of the Treasury introduced sanctions against 16 organizations and 16 individuals allegedly responsible for Russia’s rumored interference in the US elections. Also, restrictions were placed on five individuals and three legal entities in connection with Crimea, including the peninsula’s officials.
Additionally, the US is expelling 10 diplomats who work at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. According to American officials, there are "representatives of Russian intelligence" among them.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow would act in accordance with the principle of reciprocity in the relations with Washington. He noted that new US sanctions would not facilitate the organization of a meeting between Putin and Biden proposed by Washington.