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European leaders push to ease US sanctions on Russia

European states are working together in an attempt to persuade the US administration to ease sanctions targeting Russia, due to concerns that the restrictions will impact manufacturing activity across the continent.

The initiative, led by Paris, outlines increasing concern over consequences that the US sanctions on Russia could have on key EU industries.

A French official warned that he sanctions which have crippled Russian aluminium producer Rusal, would have a “direct and major impact on the provisioning of key products” and that a number of industrial plants in Europe were threatened with closure, reports the Financial Times.

German business leaders have also raised concerns over the sanctions.

“This affects the whole production chain, all the way to car producers and the aerospace industry, said one German expert.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson said the government “would point out where the interests of German companies have been affected and make it clear where there are concerns and where we see undesirable consequences at all working levels.”