EU's Juncker says ready to retaliate if needed over new U.S. sanctions on Russia

# 03 August 2017 03:50 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union's chief executive on Wednesday said the United States had taken into account some EU concerns over new sanctions on Russia but Brussels was ready to retaliate within days if the measures hurt EU economic interests, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Speaking after U.S. President Donald Trump signed the measures, Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would take counter measures if the U.S. sanctions harmed European companies involved in oil and gas projects with Russia.

"We are ready: we must defend our economic interests vis a vis the United States, and we will do that," Juncker said, according to a transcript provided by his press team.

The U.S. measures, grudgingly approved by Trump despite his desire to improve relations with Moscow, have angered EU officials, who see them as breaking transatlantic unity in the West's response to Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and support for separatists in the east.