EU To Impose Retaliatory Sanctions Against US

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Germany's economy minister, Brigitte Zypries, on Monday decried the US' latest round of sanctions against Russian Federation, insisting that they violate worldwide law by indirectly punishing European firms.

Germany's government and business leaders say the new sanctions could prevent German companies from working on pipeline projects they say are essential to the country's energy security.

Germany's economics minister on July 31 urged the European Union to fight back against new sanctions by the United States that could penalize Western companies doing business with Russian Federation.

Furthermore, the reason for Europe's anger is that contrary to its stated intention of punishing Russian Federation for "meddling in the presidential elections", the bill appears - according to Brussels - to target Russia's Nord Stream-2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russian Federation to Germany.

Several European nations, but particularly Germany, have been concerned with the wording of the latest United States sanctions, which intend to target foreign investment in Russia's energy industry.

The minister said Germany wanted to avoid a trade war between Europe and the US. "But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures....the Americans can not punish German companies because they operate economically in another country." .

Germany's Foreign Minister Gabriel has said Washington is promoting its own export interests in the guise of anti-Russian sanctions.

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

Further west, however, the increasingly aggressive United States policy - in keeping with Trump's "America First" slogan and pledge to reinvigorate U.S. energy firms - is only raising hackles.

Zypries added that the European Union should consider countermeasures in retaliation. "This is possible only when we are united and act together".

Volker Treier, head of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce's worldwide committee, said last week, "One is left with the sense that the United States is looking to its own economic interests".

German Economy and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries. This has led to an expulsion of 755 USA diplomats.

In a joint statement, Berlin and Vienna said last week that the new USA sanctions usher in a "a new and very negative quality in European American relations".

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