News Digest Item
19 Jun 2017

Merkel calls US gas sanctions against Russia “irregular behaviour”

Frankfurter Rundschau

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed her foreign minister’s criticism of US Senate plans to further tighten economic sanctions on Russia, Thorsten Knuf writes in the Frankfurter Rundschau. “This is, to put it mildly, irregular behaviour by the US Senate,” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, together with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, last week criticised US Senate plans to extend sanctions, which would affect the gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 that links Germany with Russia via the Baltic Sea. According to a foreign ministry spokesperson, the German government would consider the sanctions to be “in breach of international law,” if carried out as announced, Knuf writes. The Senate gave as reasons for the move: Russia’s attempt to influence the US election, its role in the Ukraine crisis, and support of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, Knuf writes.

For background, see the News Digest entry Germany and Austria say US sanction plans against Russia threaten Europe’s energy security.

Read the article in the Frankfurter Rundschau in German here.

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