"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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francis scott falseflag's picture

Yes, Putin referred to that in the second interview.   

sinbad2's picture

The biggest costs in manufacturing are labour and energy.

If Germany wins this fight, Russia will earn a lot of money from energy sales.

If the US wins this fight, European industry will move production to Russia to stay competitive.

So the question is will Europe sell out the people like the US did to the American people, or will they try and keep jobs in Europe?

 

Either way Russia wins.

Give us Stirling Engines's picture

Why so much defense for germany in this regard? From our point of view you guys sold out your culture and now everone is downvoting for pointing that out?

Fireman's picture

"Arbeit...macht frei."

 

Ask the Chine$€.... when the I$I$ backed Saudi Mercan dollah gets flUShed.

barysenter's picture

BURN IN HELL MERKEL

Winning! 

jomama's picture

Get out of the county for once in your pathetic existence.

Jack Oliver's picture

You do get the feeling that Germany is starting to shift - Soros forced the migration onto Germany - Zionists want everyone out of the ME !

Obviously the worlds largest traded commodity ( oil ) has plenty to do with it - Zionists are preparing for the NEW oil ( CNG)

Controlling the planets Natural Gas is their new wet FUCKING dream !

Russia well prepared for this energy change - they have been building pipelines for the last 20 years.

Now the Zionists ( led by Rothschild) want to steal it ! -by any FUCKING means - including world war 3 !

moorewasthebestbond's picture

When you get in bed with an Empire of fleas, you get some fleas!

Faeriedust's picture

LOL.  The Deep State wants to hobble Trump's diplomacy with Russia, so it makes enemies out of the Europeans, who up to this point have been its strongest allies against Trump.  Once again we see that wealth, power, and privilege are not synonymous with intelligence, howevermuch the expensively-educated think they are.

jomama's picture

Trump is Deep State fucktard.

I'm impressed you've gotten this far in life seeing only out of that little hole.

smacker's picture

"The Deep State wants to hobble Trump's diplomacy with Russia, so it makes enemies out of the Europeans, who up to this point have been its strongest allies against Trump."

It looks like that. I suspect Washingtown has detected a weakening in resolve in Europe for Russian sanctions and wants to reinforce authority over its vassals.

francis scott falseflag's picture

Oh no.

Another reversal for the Deep State.

I'm starting to feel sorry for them.  

francis scott falseflag's picture

 

OMG

 

What if they're playing "good cop - bad cop?"

 

Somebody tweet Putin 

Horse Pizzle's picture

Germany's $50 Billion trade surplus with USA and similar with Great Britain is on the line.  Cancel North Stream.  Buy US LNG.  Else many Germans unemployed.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Liquifying and shipping adds $5-6/BTU which can never compete with pipelining.

Horse Pizzle's picture

Gong! Wrong. Adds $2 to current US price of $3.  US prices could come down.  US  has the largest reservoir of natural gas in the world.  After the LNG transport ships are a sunk cost the shipping may come down as well.

The first shipments of US Gulf LNG are spot market no contract @ $7.50/mmBTU.  Get a long term contract. Build your own LNG fleet.

Don't mess with the Donald. He will put ten million Germans out of work in a heartbeat if you cross him.

President Trump asked Angela five times whether she would like to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with the USA.   Angela is thick.  She said five times she could not negotiate a bilateral trade agreement.  Guess what.  President Trump can arbitrarily embargo German imports, and only German imports. That's bilateral.  The rest of the EU can fuck themselves if they please or continue to trade with the USA.

sinbad2's picture

A key issue for any country is reliability of supply, the Russians are very reliable and have been supplying gas to Europe for 60 years. The US uses energy supplies as a political tool, and has a long history of stopping supply, or threatening to stop supply if it is not obeyed.

Reliability is remembered long after the price is forgotten.

smacker's picture

"The US uses energy supplies as a political tool, and has a long history of stopping supply, or threatening to stop supply if it is not obeyed."

That's the nub of it. The list of countries who have had politically motivated sanctions imposed on them by Washingtown for disobedience is long and growing. The latest being Russia.

Jack Oliver's picture

Complete BULLSHIT - Just sayin