Monday, 11 December, 2017

Germany urges United States to talk to European Union about Russian Federation sanctions

US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg
Christy Curtis | 02 August, 2017, 01:08

Berlin will use this opportunity to influence the White House decision and hopes that there is still time until U.S. President Donald Trump finally determines how he will strengthen sanctions against Russian Federation.

Major German, French, Dutch and Austrian firms are helping to finance the scheme, but countries across eastern Europe and Scandinavia say it contradicts the long-held European Union ambition to reduce dependence on Russian fuel and to prevent Moscow using energy supplies for political leverage.

"We see that as being against global law, plain and simple", added Zypries.

"The Americans can not punish German firms because they are conducting business in another country", she said.

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Speaking to local media, the minister assured that her government does not want a commercial war, but urged the European Commission (EC) to consider and analyze possible measures in response.

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.

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.

In a separate report, The Local noted that Germany had repeatedly asked Washington not to deviate from the common western sanctions policy against Russian Federation.

"Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing".

German Economy and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries.

Also on Monday, however, U.S. vice-president Mike Pence heard warm praise for the sanctions during talks with leaders of the three Baltic states in Estonia.

Critics of the United States government argue the sanctions could affect European energy security and serve Washington's economic interests - in line with the "America First" policy of President Trump. "We will protect ourselves from the industrial policy under the motto "America Above All" pursued under the pretext of sanctions", he stressed.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned last week that "if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days" of the provisions taking effect.

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