"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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researchfix's picture

You said that Einstein was a plagiatarist. So, who did the theory of realitivity before him? I suppose, someone from your family?

Shit, you are a 9 week old ZH´ler. Shame on me, to give you that attention...

pizdowitz's picture

Henri Poincare (google him, very nice, humble guy) , and no, he is not from my family. Not that it matters one bit.

FYI: Your insults do not move me. They tell me however alot about you.

Dude-dude's picture

Einstein had really cool hair style! I'd say his was even better than K. Marx's! I can't come close to either, though I've tried. In the end, I've had to settle for 'very short and more than slightly bald'...

Big Brother's picture

Agreed.

Or at minimum that he did not give sufficient credit to the works on relativity completed prior to his own.  I would argue that credit of said theory should be jointly awarded to Henri Poincare and Henrik Lorentz; but that's just me.

Jack Oliver's picture

Yes - the debt can never be settled - War is the ONLY option !

If Putin and Xi avoid war - well - financial calamity is an absolute certainty - They HAVE to reset it some way !!

smacker's picture

And this is what it's all about:

Article: "As Reuters notes, "they [Congress] 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 [falsely] alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election.""

Flying Panzers en route to Washingtown in 3...2...1

Must be time for V Putin to stock up on popcorn as Berlin & Co and Washingtown slug it out.


hooligan2009's picture

a perfect example of bass ackwards libtard socialist thinking

"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."

Q. why didn't france and germany co-ordinate with the US before signing a strategic energy link with Russia?

A. because they could give two shits about the US when it comes to their own self interest.

I suggest that Russia and the US withold supplies from Europe a go for regime change to evict libtard socialism as a comcept in Europe until Europe pays back half of its debts to Nato (approximately 60% of each countries GDP over the last 40 years).

when Europe stops its intenral corruption and controls its own borders (why should the US even allow Europeans into the US, when there are almost certainly going ot be moslem terrorists travelling on U passports), rather than encouraging the growth of global islamic terrorism

silvermail's picture

Europe does not need ballast called NATO. Get out of your US troops and missiles from Europe!

But if the US would like to preserve American troops in Europe, then the United States should be able to pay for its pleasures. Or you pay money for the right to deploy American troops in Europe, or get away!

hooligan2009's picture

you do know that Merkel is stirring anti-american sentiment because she thinks that will get her re-elected right?

the article should headline "Germany threatens the US with trad ewar - preferring to support Russian rather than American trade"

ot that there is anything wrong with trading with Russia, in fact, US investment in Russia is the smartest thing both countries could do - the russians would make the investments pay and the Americans could insist on proper (corruption free) investment projects that generate hugggge returns to Russia and to America.

cast yoour mind back just two years

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-33038788

"Germany, Britain and the US want an agreement to offer support to any EU member state tempted to withdraw backing for the sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting the Russian economy."

she is spinning so fast, she is ging to scheize her panzers

aldol11's picture

trump is shaking in his boots 

 

HenryHall's picture

>> 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

 

They are wrong to say USA has ulterior motives. Trump has made it plain that the policy going forward is "America First". Which naturally includes helping American natural gas suppliers to the detriment of any and all other countries. There is nothing ulterior about that. It is the new normal and Austria Germany need to get used to the concept.

researchfix's picture

"It is the new normal and Austria Germany need to get used to the concept."

Or keep buying gas from Russia.

 

shovelhead's picture

Which is what they'll do anyway because nobody can compete with Russia's price and availability.

No way will this bill go through the House.

Big noise about nothing.

Horse Pizzle's picture

$5/mmBTU is the ceiling set by US LNG.  Deal with it.

Jack Oliver's picture

I upvoted you - If you think it won't go through the corrupted 'House' though - well - you are delusional .

PitBullsRule's picture

All that and a Trade War!  Isn't the Donald wonderful?

Flybyknight's picture

He hasn't signed it yet so we wll see just how successful Clapper Brennan and Comey's  plan to stop Trump having better relations with Russia is.

smacker's picture

Dear Mutti,

"I have no sympathy for Germany & friends in this because your gripe with Washingtown is not because there's been a single shred of evidence produced linking Russia to US election hacking or meddling, it's simply because Germany & friends might suffer penalties. Pathetic.

If you had the balls to stand up and be counted over these ridiculous sanctions, one might feel a tad more sympathy."

Rgds


sheikurbootie's picture

WTF!  We don't need Germany for ANYTHING.  WTF! 

Miss Informed's picture

I don't see how they need "us" either.

sheikurbootie's picture

Where have you been? 

German population 82 million

German military 170,000

US military currently based in Germany 50,000

If they don't need us, why are we defending them?  Bring the US troops home (every other NATO country left 20 years ago) and say auf Wiedersehen to Germany.

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

Don't think the U.S. is defending Germany. More like the U.S. is trying to maintain its empire. 

jomama's picture

NATO was only activated once - on 9/11.

The US isn't defending Germany...

The average reader around here these days is dumber than the average Yahoo troll.

I chalk that up to MAGA.

 

Miss Informed's picture

"Defending them"? You mean occupying them, since 1945. But yes, please bring them home.

Too-Big-to-Bail's picture

You may not think Germany has any real power ove the USA, but they can make the Gas-stoppo

Zepper's picture

 I very much dislike Merkel and her government. This lady shafted her own people by taking in 1 million refugees. I find that absolutely ridiculous. So her dislike of an obvious play by washington to create and LNG market still does not in anyway redeem her to me. That lady has fucked Germany and Real German people for fucking centuries... if people are still around in centuries from now. 

TheAnswerIs42's picture

Counter-Measures

"If he fires one, I'll fire one"

      The Bedford Incident

 

 

DeathMerchant's picture

Great movie!! " Fire number one AZROC"

veeger's picture

merkel is another john insane.....say anything...anything at all to get re-elected.......and then be so flexible that you forget everything you said prior to the election.......

Herodotus's picture

The CIA regime change unit needs to kick Merkel to the curb and put the Hohenzollerns back on the throne.

Small Government Is Better's picture

Finally, someone in European government brave enough to think through the consequences of being a US pawn.

Why should any Europena country sacrifice business with Russia to please the USA?

These same European countries know the USA is a sucker.  

The USA already defends them with numerous military bases in their countries

While those military bases add greatly to their trade surplus with the USA, they also trade greatly with Russia.  

These countries don't care about USA politicians and their nonsense about Russia.

They saw how toothless and cowardly Obama was, and expect the same from Trump.

 

Horse Pizzle's picture

Germany has a $50 Billion/year trade surplus with USA.  Either buy US LNG or get your surplus cut off at the knees with an embargo.

hooligan2009's picture

fact check

75 billion in each of 2014 and 2015, down to 65 in 2016, running at 5 billion a month for 2017

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4280.html#2016

of course, this exlcudes all goods shipped to the US from German plants situated globally (from China, to Mexico, to Canada, to South Africa, etc etc to avoid paying US or German corproate taxes)

ou won't dinf "true" figures anywhere - a major problem with global supply chains.

 

Fireman's picture

More USSAN gas to the €uropeon$?   Funny!

LoveTruth's picture

US twisted the arms of Bulgaria for South Stream too, and S.S. was cancelled.

US likes to tell others how to think, and what to do. But people are getting fed up with this crap. 

 

Horse Pizzle's picture

It's called linkage.  VW is a basket case. Deutsche Bank is going down.

HoserF16's picture

I'm thoroughly convinced now. The Germans are FUCKING MORONS!!!

jomama's picture

It's apparent you've forgotten to pick up your prescription at Wal-Mart.

Vageling's picture

Merkel has elections. Nothing new. Merkel is Stasi. Nothing new. All dog & pony show. These sanction bullshit... Who is the USG fooling here? It seems to me they rather indirectly try to destroy them sand fleas? They hurt the most. As allies. Yeah they got tha fiad! Cha-ching! But Russia, eh?

quasi_verbatim's picture

US LNG to Europe? Lend-lease, elite palm-greasing or outright giveaway? You gotta get the marketing right.

The Count's picture

Oh, did the ex-Stasi agent Merkl finally lift the mask? Anybody in the way of the real-socialist/nwo Euro dictators 'will half tu pee delt mit'!

Ntoxic8ingWave's picture

Coming from the Woman and her organziation that has been calling Russia the enemy of democratic elections all over the world... What are these people smoking?

NuYawkFrankie's picture

ZIO-Zombie Globo-Goon USSA has a "special" way of dealing with Germany...

Ever heard of "Dresden" Ms Merkel... hmmm?

MasterControl's picture

We should invade Germany and get our money back.

DoolieDoink's picture

Just STOP buying products made by the AMERICUNTS !

DoolieDoink's picture

Just STOP buying products made by the AMERICUNTS !

luky luke's picture

Merkel, as a German, understands that this thing with Russia is similar to what was done to her country with the economic boycott of 1933 followed by all out military conflict.

http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-truth-about-the-c...

Ethelred the Unready's picture

The Treaty of Versailles (after WWI) screwed Germany big time.  The Krauts thought they had agreed only to an armistice (ceasefire) and found they had blundered into an unconditional surrender.   What we now call Veterans Day was originally called  Armistice Day.  We did the same thing to Russia after they gave  up on the Soviet Union.   Stole its resources (giving them to the oligarchs) and "nationhooded" its outer provinces and now we are now treating it like a pariah.  (Look up the Wolfowitz Doctrine).  Germany finally couldn't take the injustice of it all and here comes WWII.   When will Russia reach the boiling point?

RightLineBacker's picture

From the looks of Merkel's picture and angry quote I would guess that this must be her "time of the month".