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

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.


PrayingMantis Fed Supporter Fri, 06/16/2017 - 14:25 Permalink

 ... >>> ... " ... 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 ... " ...... yes, this "shale efficiency" agenda is all about the latest US sanctions against Russia ... to wrest the Russian gas monopoly business destined for EU away from Russia ...  and, of course,  the US sanctions would affect EU companies doing business via the Nord Stream 2 project ... ... and these sites explain it further ...... >>> ..." ...Important to note about this issue, this report explains, is that due to what is called “hydraulic fracturing”, the United States has overwhelmed its domestic capacity to store the natural gas it’s now producing—and in order to sell what they are overproducing, they have begun a process to destroy Russia’s longstanding international agreements with the EU [read: US sanctions] that supplies them with cheap energy supplies. ... " ...more here >>> http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2316.htm ... and here >>> https://www.rt.com/news/392483-germany-austria-us-sanctions-russia/;)

In reply to by Fed Supporter

fx Alt RightGirl Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:38 Permalink

German (and European) agriculture already took a sizeable hit as a result of Russia's smart counter-sanctions. Russia used them to protect and grow its own food industry and now an important market for european farmers will be gone.
Now the Us wants to shovel their expensive (relative to gazprom's) LNG down Europe's throat. Germans will be glad to pay 50-100 % more compared to now.
And guess who gains from all this? China! And China only.
Acting as a backtop for Russian gas exports, they get a great price while russia, Europe lose out. The US loses, too, because they strengthen China ever more throufgh such stupid action.
But the dumbest out there are our European clowns. I bet, if Obomber were still running the WH, merkel would already have agreed with the new sanctions.

In reply to by Alt RightGirl

fx luky luke Sat, 06/17/2017 - 06:10 Permalink

Merkel knows all about how to stay in power. Apart from that, she is dumber than a stone. Her histroic knowledge is comparable to that of Obomber (i.e. close to zero) despite her having been educated a lot on this in the former East Germany. She simply forgot that knowledge, deeming it to be useless at best. She knows shit about world politics, has no vision and no strategy, but she gladly succumbs to the neocons in washington. The omly reason why she is lamenting now is because Germany is going to lose out bigly on the US sanctions. She couldn't care less about Russia, or peace in Europe or the world.

In reply to by luky luke

swmnguy Alt RightGirl Fri, 06/16/2017 - 18:03 Permalink

Heh-heh, that's pretty crazy.  Those people who narrowly escaped being burned alive because their landlord chose the cheaper building material should just sleep in the street and like it, right?  'Cause some of them were probably Muslim, right?Only a rat, squirming and crazy at that, would want to treat people like that like human beings.

In reply to by Alt RightGirl

The Ram Muddy1 Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:16 Permalink

I am afraid that Germany does not need 'protecting', unless of course the US military is going to go after some unruly muslim immigrants, but that's not going to happen. Very simple.  The US military forces are not in European countries to protect.  It was always really about control, not protection.  In fact, Germany and the all the NATO countries would be doing themselves a favor to dump the enire NATO paradigm and look for other partners.  They only have their shackles to lose.  Tethering themselves to a slowly expiring America will not be of any long term benefit.  I think even the globalists in the German government are coming around to the conclusion that parternship strictly with the US and NATO is a losing proposition.  

In reply to by Muddy1

silvermail Muddy1 Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:03 Permalink

This is the Germans can give protection to America.Because the Germans (unlike the Americans) are able to fight even in the face of heavy losses of personnel.The US Army has never fought against a serious opponent. Any war the US is a war on the principle: "Non-contact destruction of an unarmed enemy from a safe distance."From whom does the US Army defend Germany? Maybe from the Vietnamese, who have already defeated the US army before?

In reply to by Muddy1

CryptBrain AllTimeWhys Fri, 06/16/2017 - 14:29 Permalink

NO.  The US (or better said, those that control her) own Merkel.  However, the Trump vs Deep-State debacle is an opportunity for Germans to escape the tight grip. Germany has been living in a "1984" style freedom for decades.  How else do you think David Hasselhoff was a top 10 recording artist there.  Just wait until the German people start reading about all the lies the perpetrators have been forcing down their throats.  Talk about rough awakening.   #Hollywood

In reply to by AllTimeWhys

HRClinton Chupacabra-322 Fri, 06/16/2017 - 14:16 Permalink

Your (((Money Masters))) at work, doing everything they can to prevent OBOR, Silk Road N (via .ru and eastern Eu) and Silk Rd. S (via Afghanistan, Persia, Turkey), and keep their money and economic hegemony.Make Usurpers Great Again (MUGA), is the real mandate of anyone in the WH, regardless of whether they favor the Left leg or Right leg of the same Body Politik.But, hey, stay divided and keep up the L/R fight. Your Money Masters are LTAO.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

jeff montanye HRClinton Fri, 06/16/2017 - 14:50 Permalink

so you'd think.  but what they actually do doesn't look like they are trying to "keep their money and economic hegemony".  why then do 9-11 and start and lose the next six wars?  why sell/lease our gold to keep the price low rather than keep our gold now valued at much higher prices?  why put sanctions on iran and russia that pushes them into an alliance with china that produces new currency and gold markets, world banks, an alternative to the swift transfer/settlement system, and trading energy in rubles, yuan and gold.this seems more than incompetence and bad luck.

In reply to by HRClinton

jeff montanye jewish_master Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:01 Permalink

and it would hasten the project if true leftists (against the aristocracy and the king, for the poor) could make if nothing else a marriage of convenience with libertarian constitutionalists.  how politically unsophisticated is it to refuse to obtain an agreed on good of consequence, the destruction or weakening of the deep state, because of a distaste for some of the others that shared that desire?  their guy got screwed by hillary, famously documented (the gift that keeps on giving, actually). seth rich was one of them, if he wasn't a russian spy or something.  somehow though if that had been true i think the fbi would have caught him nonviolently.

In reply to by jewish_master

Rubicon727 Chupacabra-322 Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:29 Permalink

It's not only the continued development of the Silk Road (China/Russia/India/Pakistan, etc.) and the US military response to it in Syria/elsewhere, it's also because of the steel-determination of Germany in it's rise as a world power.They continue to suck out every last euro in S. Europe, as Germany is dead set on world domination. Not an unheard of goal, considering their past with Great Britian, WWI and WWII - for sure. 

In reply to by Chupacabra-322