Sputnik: On Wednesday, the US Senate voted in favor of new sanctions against Russia over its alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016. Germany and Austria have already criticized the United States, noting that the draft bill appeared to aim at ousting Russian gas from the European market, promoting US liquefied natural gas and securing US jobs in gas and oil industry.
“I can tell you that the opinion of the chancellor and the one brought forward yesterday by the German foreign minister and the Austrian chancellor are in full congruence with each other. The chancellor shares the concerns expressed in this statement,” Seibert said.
According to the spokesman, Merkel is convinced that economic interests and US sanctions “cannot be mixed.”
Seibert added that it was necessary to ensure that Washington’s anti-Russian sanctions did not affect the EU economy.
“We do not recognize on principle such sanctions with extraterritorial effect for the third countries,” the spokesman stressed.
On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern criticized Washington’s decision. In a joint statement the politicians accused the United States of an attempt to squeeze out supplies of Russian natural gas to the European market and promote US liquefied gas supplies, which will undermine European companies. The two officials stressed that the issue of energy supplies to Europe was EU own business and the United States should not interfere.