USA sanctions needed to overcome crisis in Ukraine - German Foreign Ministry

USA sanctions needed to overcome crisis in Ukraine - German Foreign Ministry

In comments today, German Economic Minister Brigitte Zypries declared the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation a violation of global law, pushing for the European Union to retaliate against the USA to protect its economic interests.

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

The latest sanctions bill will fine businesses for helping Moscow expand and enhance its energy export pipelines, theoretically leaving European energy firms open to incurring harsh penalties for having ties to Russian companies.

Gabriel also stressed that the goal of the sanctions is to end the Ukrainian crisis and exert political pressure, something that he said could be implemented if "we act together and cohesively".

The bill targets 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.

"Of course we don't want a trade war".

Germany's economy minister called on the European Union to begin looking into countermeasures against Washington's latest sanctions against Russian Federation. "He has a possibility to discuss these sanctions with us, to take into account European interests", DPA quoted him as saying during a visit in Belgium.

"Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing. That means that it is right that the European Commission now considers countermeasures", she said.

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

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".

"We think it to be an absolutely improper approach", the German Foreign Minister said castigating Washington.

Late on July 31, the White House said it was mulling a response to Russia's massive expulsion of diplomats.

"I welcome very much the US Senate's decision, and hope very much that president Trump will support this decision for imposing sanctions".

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