The major economic powers of Northern Europe are extremely concerned that the new Russia sanctions bill that is making its way through Congress will, given how limited direct US-Russia trade is, end up targeting European companies that do business with Russia.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he believes the EU stands “ready to act within days” if US sanctions are adopted without taking Europe’s concerns into account. This is particularly important if major German energy companies get targeted, as they are wholly dependent on Russia for natural gas.
Not everyone in Europe is on the same page, however. Poland, and the Baltic states, are all more hostile toward Russia, and are all keen to see the EU add the new sanctions on Russia as well as reducing their energy dependence on Russia.
Still, natural gas doesn’t grow on trees, and there isn’t an immediate alternative to Russia for the nations that have been depending on them for years. This ultimately obliges the EU to protect this trade from any US threats.