Germany and Austria issue joint statement against US Senate’s new anti-Russia sanctions


June 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

–, translated from German by Tom Winter –

Sigmar Gabriel, FM of Germany, with Christian Kern Chancellor of Austria

Foreign Minister Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Kern respond to the Russian sanctions by the US Senate. The Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern (SPÖ) and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) today (June 15) spoke out against the adoption of a bill on Russia sanctions by the US Senate:

“Since 2014, Europe and the USA have responded side by side, and in close partnership about the international law-breaking annexation of Crimea,* and the Russian approach in the Eastern Ukraine. This was the right and the necessary response to a Russian attitude that put peace and security in danger in Europe and, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, has violated our principles of the inviolability of borders in Europe. [Translator comment: Ignoring the Tearing apart of Yugoslavia]

“A close and determined approach by the EU and the USA to solve the Ukraine conflict is in our common interest.

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“Yet we can not accept the threat of non-international extraterritorial sanctions against European companies that are involved in the development of Europe’s energy supply.

“The US draft law shows what is really important: the sale of American liquefied gas and the displacement of Russian natural gas supplies from the European market. The aim is apparently to secure jobs in the natural gas and oil industry in the USA.

“Political sanctions should not be associated with economic interests. And threatening to punish companies in Germany, Austria and other European countries on the US market for participating in or financing natural gas projects such as Nord Stream II with Russia is bringing a completely new and very negative quality to European-American relations. This impacts the competitiveness of our energy-intensive industry and thousands of jobs. 
“We therefore strongly support the efforts of the US Department of Foreign Affairs to change this bill.

“Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America!

“Whoever supplies us with energy, and how, is something for us to decide, according to rules of openness and market competition.

“It would not only be extremely unfortunate but also in view of the effectiveness of our position in the Ukraine conflict, also harmful if we are no longer acting together through over-riding economic interests of the US in the export of gas. No blending of foreign policy interests with economic! There still is time and opportunity to prevent this!
*Self-determination is against International Law when “The International Community” disapproves. UN Charter? –tr.

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