US bill on Russia sanctions prompts German, Austrian outcry

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A US Senate bill to toughen sanctions on Russia and Iran has been slammed by German and Austrian Social Democrats. Sigmar Gabriel and Christian Kern say it will warp Europe’s natural gas network in favor of US suppliers.

The bill passed by US senators 98-2 and forwarded to the US House Representatives prompted a joint outburst Thursday from Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, and Kern, Austria’s chancellor.

The nub is Nord Stream 2, a pipeline project to pump Russian natural gas via the Baltic Sea to landfall in Germany – involving Russia’s Gazprom and European energy firms, including Wintershall of Germany and ÖMV of Austria.

“Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America!” wrote Gabriel and Kern, both center-left Social Democrats.

To threaten European firms also active in the US with sanctions, if they took part in Nord Stream 2, thrust “a completely new, and very negative dimension into European-American relations,” the pair wrote…

Read more : Deutsche Welle, 15.06.2017