New Russia Sanctions 'Illegal' Says Germany, Urging Europe to Retaliate Against US

02 August, 2017, 00:15 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • 'US self-interest': Poll shows overwhelming majority of Germans against new Russia sanctions

Europeans are concerned about the fact that the U.S. is planning, through these measures, to impose restrictions on cooperation with Russian companies on pipeline construction and prioritize exports of United States energy resources to Europe. "Sanctions policies are neither a suitable nor an appropriate instrument for promoting national export interests and the domestic energy sector", Gabriel said last week.

The new package of measures against Russian Federation, passed in Congress last week and set to be signed into law by Trump, would allow the U.S.to impose sanctions on companies that worked on Russia's energy export pipelines.

At the heart of the dispute is Nord Stream 2, a €9.5 billion pipeline project led by Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom, which from 2019 is meant to double the volume of Russian gas pumped under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany.

Zypries said Berlin had repeatedly asked Washington not to include the provisions affecting European companies in a broader bill targeting Russian Federation with sanctions over its alleged interference in the US presidential election, aggression in Ukraine, and other matters.

Germany is urging the United States to discuss with Europeans the potential implications of the proposed US sanctions on Russian Federation.

EU business and political leaders fear it could hurt the construction of Nord Stream 2, a Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline, and thus damage European economies.

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"Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing". Europe is "ready, to take short-term retaliatory measures - including in other areas", Zypries said.

"One is left with the sense that the United States is looking to its own economic interests", Volker Triere, the head of the Germany Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said last week.

German Economy and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries.

Russia has already started taking retaliatory measures at it expelled many U.S. diplomats now working in Russia and bring down the number in line with as many Russian diplomats working in the United States.

The latest sanctions proposed against Moscow was passed in the US House of Representatives with only three votes against on July 25, and three days later in the Senate with just two oppositions.

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