"That Must Not Happen": Germany Threatens US With Retaliation Over New Russia Sanctions

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after the Senate almost unanimously passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia, an unexpected outcry against the US decision emerged from two of America's closest allies, Germany and Austria, who yesterday slammed the new sanctions and accused the U.S. of having ulterior motives in seeking to enforce the energy blockade, which they said is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. And they warned the threat of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project "introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations."

Today's the unexpected fallout from the latest round of US sanctions has escalated, and according to Reuters, Germany has threatened to retaliate against the United States if the new US sanctions on Russia end up penalizing German firms, which they almost will as it foresees punitive measures against entities that provide material support to Russia in building energy export pipelines. Such as Germany, Austria and host of other European nations. Berlin is concerned that if passed in the House, the sanctions will pave way for fines against German and European firms involved in Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic.

And it's not jet the Germans who are sweating: among the European companies involved in the project are German oil and gas giant Wintershall, German energy trading firm Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie. In other words, if the Senate proposed sanctions pass, the US will have to fine virtually every energy giant in Europe.

Quoted by Reuters, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert described the Senate bill, which must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Trump before it becomes law, as "a peculiar move". He said it was "strange" that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged interference in the U.S. elections could also trigger penalties against European companies. "That must not happen," said Seibert.

Confirming the seriousness of Germany's resolve, in an interview with Reuters, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said "Berlin would have to think about counter-measures" if Trump backed the plan. "If he does, we'll have to consider what we are going to do against it."

The unexpectedly sharp response from Germany comes at a time of deep strain in the transatlantic relationship due to shifts in U.S. policy and a more confrontational rhetoric towards Europe under Trump, who has not only demanded more funding for NATO, slammed Germany over its trade balance and cheap currency but also most recently exited Europe's precious Paris climate treaty, Ironically, the part of the bill that threatens to impaire the already precarious relations with Europe was introduced by some of the president's top critics, including Republican hawk John McCain.

As Reuters notes, "they are intent on limiting Trump's ability to forge warmer ties with Russia, a key foreign policy pledge during his campaign for the presidency, but one he has been unable to deliver on amid investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election." Judging by Germany's response this attempt to further alienate Russia may backfire dramatically, not only alieanting Berlin but bringing Europe and Russia closer, now that the Qatar gas pipeline - courtesy of Saudi Arabia - is a non-starter.

Back to Zypries who continued to lash out at the US saying "I regret that the joint approach of Europe and the United States on Russia and sanctions has been undermined and abandoned in this way."

What she may not understand is that in the US - at least for the vast majority of the media - the only thing that matters now is the anti-Russia narrative, and Congress will do anything to perpetuate that. If that means hurting the income statement of a handful of "ally" corporations, so be it: there are newspapers to sell, after all.

In addition to Germany, France and the European Commission also urged the United States to coordinate with its partners on such matters. "For several years, we have underlined to the United States the difficulties that extraterritorial legislation spark," a French foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.

Finally, some European diplomats said they fear the threat of new measures out of Washington may harden Germany's defense of Nord Stream and complicate already difficult talks among EU nations over whether to seek joint talks with Russia over the pipeline. "This is not helpful now. It tends to stir up desires to protect our territorial space," one EU diplomat said, clearly another European who does not understand that when it comes to promoting US policy, whatever it may be, foreign sovereignty - even that of friendly nations  - is never a concern.

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pizdowitz's picture

Did not work so well under Stalingrad and Kursk, did it?

Horseless Headsman's picture

Is we is or is we aint the EMPIRE?

jeff montanye's picture

it's starting to look a little bit like the awkward age. a tween.

ClickNLook's picture

Russian hackers are at it again.

Between Scylla and Charybdis's picture

Gack! It's truly amazing how every photograph of Merkel makes one want to punch her mouth. She is indisputably the world's foremost mutt-faced moron.

small axe's picture

can't the bosses just get along, gorge themselves silly, and throw us serfs the bones like they used to?


Piranha's picture

crickets during Obama years lol

jeff montanye's picture

so now, not a bad thing.  obama was to let the republicans hate the empire.

mary mary's picture

Why shouldn't American tariffs (aka "sanctions") attempt to help American producers?

Ms. Merkel, if you want to have a voice in America's tariffs, swap your German citizenship for American citizenship.  Until they, mind your own business.

jeff montanye's picture

tariffs are a risky business but they are not an act of war.  no more food for qatar.  too bad.

oh wait, on that big white horse --  iran?

mary mary's picture

When the Founding Fathers created the USA, the only taxes they created were tariffs.  No income tax, ad valorem tax, sales tax.  Only tariffs.

Voice of insanity's picture

At this rate, the Europeans will ditch NATO and form an alliance with Russia ....

buzzsaw99's picture

Russia can't afford them. Besides the eu would try to talk Putin to death and he would have no patience for that. Yak, yak, yak, blah, blah, blah.  It's all they ever do.

Bai Suzhen's picture

How did these childless cat ladies ever get in such powerful positions?  That's the real question.  So Germany is going to retaliate?  What's the plan?  Send over an army of Moslem jihadis newly arrived from Syria to work their pillage and rape magic on America?

Miss Informed's picture

Don't make me come over there

ElTerco's picture

Ever since Trump has been campaigning, the wins have been lining up for Russia at the expense of losses for the USA. So much for Trump's America First agenda.

Guyzz239's picture

Merkel is just pissed at Trump stil.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Maybe Anglea made Helmut the biggest promise before his death...

Germany will start printing Deutschmarks once again and to make clear that it will be OFF THE RESERVATION FOR GOOD... NO MORE military along with it's conventional and nuclear ordnance in places like Stuttgart, Ramstein as well as every other orifice the U.S. has been parked up in this Country since 1945!

researchfix's picture

Helmut said lately, that Mutti was forced onto him. And the question is, who can force the German chancellor?

Son of Captain Nemo's picture


Let's hope the German people are fed up with the millions of refugees that have been foisted on them courtesy of "AMERICANER"... And that they demand that Brussels rebuild the homes of the millions in the Middle East using terrorists to loot what they will never control again under the "arches" of USD and send them home!

If I had to guess Anglea is worried about "Reichstag-like" ceremony with her in the building when the people have finally had enough!... going on 2 years ago!

"Yankee" GO HOME!

trailer park boys's picture

Germany and Austria and the rest of the EU can't have it both ways - pushing the 'Russia is evil' meme to keep the US pouring money, resources and manpower into an anacronism known as NATO; But, oh no, don't sanction Russia, it may hurt our relationship (and bottom line) with our trading partner and main energy provider.


Miss Informed's picture

NATO is a scam and a lot of trouble. Time for US military to pull back behind the two enormous oceans that God gave it to protect itself.

FBaggins's picture

Russia has had the audacity to trade its own oil without US petrodollars, control its own resources, and kick out the Rothschild banksters, and so the Rothschild-controlled US must bankrupt and destroy the nation just like it is doing in Syria and Venezuela.  Finally, Germany has said “enough” telling Trump and the neocons to go to hell.  

Horse Pizzle's picture

You got it.  Works like a charm.   When is the last time you Ruskies ate meat, cheese, eggs, fruit?  When is the last time you got paid for working your job?  Russia is in economic collapse.

smacker's picture

Agreed except the Germans aren't kicking up a rumpus because of any of that but simply because their own companies might suffer penalties if they don't apply the lunatic sanctions.

pizdowitz's picture

Guten Tag Mutti !

Just do it, I dare you! Then pull out of NATO, burn the Reichstag and appoint Mr. Tusk to the head of SS .

smacker's picture

"burn the Reichstag"

Oh for God's sake not again.

Can't we burn the Elysee Palace this time or how about the EU-EC HQ?


gnjus's picture

They all played the same game since the begginng and now Germans are pissed because they are going to loose money.
Just look at the damage done to EU agricultural business, nobody complained about that.

HominyTwin's picture

Trump should threaten to sign the bill unless Europe removes the rest of the sanctions on Russia. Would be a master stroke. He is not that smart, though.

venturen's picture

why are we sanctioning Russia? Because they are killing our ISIS surrogates?

Jerky Miester's picture

Angela Merkel .... you stanky, nasty German cunt!  What are you going to do?  Attack us with the German Golden Shower?

It's time to pull out of Europe entirely and let the whole place implode in on itself.  Afterwards, let's cut a deal with the former East Block countries and Russia to divide the spoils just in case they are usable.  Then stuff all the Euro-refuges up Erdogan's Turkish ass.

pizdowitz's picture

That is exactly the plan... How did you find out about it, if I may ask?

Herodotus's picture

Germany needs to order the immediate closure of the Baumholder and Wiesbaden military bases.

ArgentDawn's picture

The left is now being asked to support Putin via Merkel? Talk about heads exploding.

milking institute's picture

Of course the cunt was all gung ho on sanctions when it was popular,now that we have german corporations breathing down her neck she changes colors. Putin has once again outsmarted everybody and is driving a wedge between the US  and EU  and the useless retard US senate under the glorious "leadership" of Mc STAIN and his homo sidekick make it all possible. trump can't really do much at this point,can't really appear to be pro russian, now can he?  We need to drain the swamp and the swamp is the GOP! 

decentralisedscrutinizer's picture


Why waste time on this alligator when the swamp’s most critical economic and political problems revolve around the hegemony of a global corporate cartel, which is headquartered in the US because this is where their dominant military force resides. The US Constitution is therefore the “kingpin” of an all-inclusive global financial empire. These fictitious entities now own the USA and command its military infrastructure by virtue of the Federal Reserve Corporation, regulatory capture, MSM propaganda, and congressional lobbying.


The Founders had to fight a bloody Revolutionary War to win our right to incorporate as a nation – the USA. But then, for whatever reason, our Founders granted the greediest businessmen among them unrestricted corporate charters with enough potential capital & power to compete with the individual states, smaller sovereign nations, and eventually to buy out the USA itself. The only way The People can regain our sovereignty as a constitutional republic now is to severely curtail the privileges of any corporation doing business here. To remain sovereign we have to stop granting corporate charters to just any “suit” that comes along without fulfilling a defined social value in return. The "Divine Right Of Kings” should not apply to fictitious entities just because they are “Too Big To Fail”. We can't afford to privatize our Treasury to transnational banks anymore. Government must be held responsible only to the electorate, not fictitious entities; and banks must be held responsible to the government if we are ever to restore sanity, much less prosperity, to the world.


It was a loophole in our Constitution that allowed corporate charters to be so easily obtained that a swamp of corruption inevitably flooded our entire economic system. It is a swamp that can't be drained at this point because the Constitution doesn’t provide a drain. This 28th amendment is intended to install that drain so Congress can pull the plug ASAP. As a matter of political practicality we must rely on the Article 5 option to do this, for which the electorate will need overwhelming consensus beforehand. Seriously; an Article 5 Constitutional Convention is rapidly becoming our only sensible option.


This is what I think it will take to save the world; and nobody gets hurt: 28th Amendment


28th Amendment:


Corporations are not persons in any sense of the word and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:


1, prohibitions against any corporation; a, owning another corporation; b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic; or c, otherwise distorting the general economy;


2, prohibitions against any form of interference in the affairs of; a, government, b, education, c, news media; or d, healthcare, and


3, provisions for; a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books; b, the establishment of state and municipal banking; and c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives for violation of the terms of a corporate charter.


Åristotle's picture

If one of the intended aims of this proposal is to attack or dismantle the third national bank, The Federal Reserve, then the method ought not to be to grant greater centralized power to the federal government but instead to repeal the act of congress that created it. Likewise, it seems that many of these prohibitions and provisions fall under the purpose of the 10th amendment. Probably better to first encourage allegiance to the constitutional items that already do exist then to create new ones.

Herodotus's picture

The German foreign minister is scheduled to arrive in Moscow for a meeting with the Russian foreign minister on August 23rd.

pizdowitz's picture

... to split Poland in half, just like Ribbentrop and Molotov.

Aubiekong's picture

Hey Germany you better be reading your Koran and studying Islamic ways of life, you are going to need it...

IronForge's picture

Keeping up the Status Quo...


TEAM_PETRODOLLAR  just can't help themselves from intruding into other Countries' Business...

aliens is here's picture

Fuck you Nazi whore. What are you going to do about it? We fuck you up twice in 2 wars and we'll fuck you up again. Stupid Nazi fuck. I don't like what we are doing to the Russians but I hate it when other country threatens us. Fuck you. Thumb down you are a Nazi sympathizer.

Jerky Miester's picture

Here's how Germany can threaten the world:


After seeing this, it took all my strength not to gouge my eyes out.

smacker's picture

OMG that's utterly disgusting ;-)

True Contrarian's picture

Einstein once said, "If you never made a mistake, you never tried anything new". Our political leaders certainly test the logic of this statement. EU leaders are only now reconsidering their positions on Russian agri/banking sanctions as a matter of self preservation re trade imbalances and the spectre of embargoes on Eurozone oil and gas supplies from Russia. The highly distressed Eurozone banking system has nowhere to go but further into negative yield territory resulting in current massive volumes of flight capital fleeing the major banks with the resultant share price destruction, Deutsche Bank being a prime example with their 5 year Credit Default Swap rates plummeting in recent months thanks to ECB interventions, even though their share price at $18 is at multi decade lows.

At the domestic level, Eurozone economic stagnation is only further exacerbated by these acquiescent Russophobic policies which, incidentally, have virtually no direct impact on the US economy. The EU leadership is currently fighting for their political careers in the face of a sweeping rise in popularity of Right wing parties which are in their ascendancy across Europe, with Brexit having prematurely opened Pandora's and the further prospect of Black Swan political and economic events in Europe. This is against the backdrop of unsustainable debt to gdp levels at the sovereign level with the only mechanism making the EU member countries/states debt sustainable being artificially low bond yields and an inflation adjusted negative ECB prime rate. The Latin phrase, Reductio ad absurdum, comes to mind. And none of it can be pinned on Brexit, as much as Draghi et cie would love to. If nothing else, Brexit served to underscore the inherent instability in the current global banking system and the impotence of Central Bankers to begin fixing it, as exemplified in Yellens performance to date.

Over 13 Trillion Dollars in sovereign bonds with negative yields have been issued globally, 222 Trillion Dollars in derivatives are held by US banks with no net counterparty risk we are told, Global debt currently standing at 325% of global GDP, 90% of long dated US treasury issuances (20,30yr) purchased by the Federal Reserve due to lack of international demand, a situation that has existed since 2011 through Twist and subsequent iterations. The unwind for all of this will be spectacular. These failed policies are demonstrably edging towards a flattened yield curve and from thence, oblivion. US PMI service and manufacturing numbers are turning back towards recession levels with ISM inventory builds confirming stagnating consumer spending as indicated in the Atlanta Feds initial GDP Now Q1 print of .2%. They've released a Q2 SAAR forecast of 4.3%. Will they ever learn? 

On the geopolitical front, there is also the preponderance of sustaining the costs for a NATO beholden to US interests that has encroached on Russia and is only adding to geopolitical tensions, and suddenly you have a ton of blowback to deal with in a very limited timeframe. And I didn't even mention North Korea. Add to all of this the inevitable death of the PetroDollar, since August 1971 when Nixon "temporarily suspended" the convertibility of the Dollar to gold, the US has financially leveraged itself to unforgivable levels with a 20 Trillion Dollar budgetary deficit not to mention off balance sheet commitments north of 150 Trillion, and with over 40% of the current multi Trillion Dollar yearly federal budget blown on defence spending alone.

This 45 year old shell game has run its course and will have serious consequences in the US and globally, and its demise is only further fueled by these domestic and foreign policies. The US has in my opinion, rather unintentionally isolated themselves geostrategically going into the most uncertain economic period in modern times. The main failure of the US has been that they have attempted to subdue countries through unipolar policy in a burgeoning multipolar world. The smaller countries (Shanghai alliance, BRICS and non aligned states) that ultimately decided to follow their own best interests against US dictats, have formed as a tropism to become the natural countervailing force required to subdue the worst effects of the unipolar world it developed from. In this respect, US post Cold War neo conservative foreign policy is its own worst enemy.

The transformation of a world from the traditional bipolar sphere of influence model to an embedded dominant unipolar power after the fall of the Soviet Union, will, give way to a rebalancing of the global social order led by the influence of multipolar constraints placed on the unipolar objectives as a very consequence of its existence. On a long enough timeline, the US will suffer this ultimate blowback in the form of a collapsed bond market with yields reminiscent of Volkers 21.5% prime rate in '81 with 10 year bonds at 15%.
This is the level of adjustment that will befall America when the rest of the world says no to the US Treasury and the PetroDollar, and it is happening right now. In time this may lead to a fairer and more balanced system of planetary existence from which we can evolve to the next level and get off this rock. Or it could end up with President Greg Stilson pressing the big red button in The Dead Zone.

pizdowitz's picture

Einstein was a plagiarist and a fraud.

researchfix's picture

But he was more intelligent than you and me.

pizdowitz's picture

For a guy without a certificate from an accredited teaching institution he was doing quite well. So was Charles Ponzi...

And please do not assume my level of intelligence. You do not know me...