Twenty-four of the twenty-seven European Union member states have formally protested against U.S. sanctions.
The step comes after months of growing angst within by EU member states over sanctions placed on EU businesses by the United States; specifically those businesses which are directly involved with Russian state majority owned company Gazprom and its subsidiary gas pipeline projects, Nord Stream & Nord Stream 2. These projects seek to further integrate European energy supplies with those of Russia and increase the EU's energy dependence on Russia.
The EU's Foreign and Security Policy spokesperson, Nabila Massrali stated:
‘The EU considers that extraterritorial application of sanctions is illegal under international law’
Germany is the EU's largest consumer of Russian energy and Berlin is coordinating the response of EU member states, despite three EU members abstaining from officially voicing dissent over the U.S. imposition.