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counter-measures in response to US sanctions on Russia – Google Search

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New Russia Sanctions ‘Illegal’ Says Germany, Urging Europe to …

Newsweek21 hours ago
Europe is ready to adopt short-term countermeasures in other parts of the … The sanctions are a response to claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. … American intelligence agencies believe that attempts to do so were …
Germany Urges EU To Fight Back Against Russia Sanctions Bill
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Germany calls for EU countermeasures against US following …
InternationalDeutsche Welle16 hours ago

counter-measures in response to US sanctions – Google Search

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Germany calls for EU countermeasures against US following …

Deutsche Welle16 hours ago
Brigitte Zypries has said the US sanctions end up affecting German firms. … The move came in response to a new US sanctions package …
Germany Urges EU To Fight Back Against Russia Sanctions Bill
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty6 hours ago

Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms

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June 16, 2017 / 6:19 AM / 2 months ago

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the U.S. Senate end up penalizing German firms.

The Senate bill, approved on Thursday by a margin of 98-2, includes new sanctions against Russia and Iran. Crucially, it foresees punitive measures against entities that provide material support to Russia in building energy export pipelines.

Berlin fears that could pave the 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.

Among the European companies involved in the project are German oil and gas group Wintershall, German energy trading firm Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman described the Senate bill, which must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Donald 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 the spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

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,” Zypries said.

The sharp response from Berlin comes at a time of deep strains in the transatlantic relationship due to shifts in U.S. policy and a more confrontational rhetoric towards Europe under Trump.

The new U.S. president has lambasted European partners for not contributing more to NATO, slammed Germany for running a large trade surplus with the United States and broken with allies on climate change with his decision to exit the landmark Paris agreement on combating greenhouse gas emissions.

Ironically, the part of the Senate bill that targets Russia was introduced by some of the president’s top critics, including Republican hawk John McCain.

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.

Dialogue Breaks Down

Under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Washington and Europe coordinated closely as they ramped up sanctions against Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

But the dialogue has broken down under Trump, who considered easing sanctions against Russia when he first came into office, according to U.S. officials.

“I regret that the joint approach of Europe and the United States on Russia and sanctions has been undermined and abandoned in this way,” Zypries told Reuters.

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.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to start pumping gas from Russia to Europe from 2019, has been dogged by controversy.

Eastern European and Baltic states fear it will make them hostage to Russian gas and undercut Ukraine by depriving it of transit fees for Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Nordic nations, meanwhile, have security concerns over the pipeline running through territorial waters, where Russia has bolstered its military presence in recent months.

Some EU diplomats 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.

The House of Representatives is expected to debate the Senate bill in the coming weeks but it is unclear whether it will come up for a final vote before lawmakers leave Washington at the end of July for their summer recess.

Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber; Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Andrew Roche

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German economy minister threatens counter-measures in response to US sanctions on Russia

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Following the adoption of new sanctions against Russia by both chambers of the US congress, Brigitte Zypries threatened that Europe may take counter-measures.

Trump Removes Anthony Scaramucci From Communications Director Role

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Mr. Scaramucci had boasted about reporting directly to the president, not the chief of staff. But the decision to remove him came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said.

It was not clear whether Mr. Scaramucci, who is known informally as “The Mooch,” will remain at the White House in another position or will leave altogether. The White House had originally said that his official start date as a government employee was to be August 15, although he appeared to begin performing his duties immediately.

While Mr. Kelly’s objection was the decisive factor in Mr. Scaramucci’s departure, people close to the decision said that Mr. Trump had quickly soured on the wisecracking, Long Island-bred former hedge fund manager, and so had his family.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband, had pushed the president to hire Mr. Scaramucci, seeing him as a way to force out Mr. Priebus, the former national Republican committee chairman, and his allies in the West Wing.

In that, Mr. Scaramucci was successful. Mr. Spicer, a close ally of Mr. Priebus, resigned just hours after the news about Mr. Scaramucci’s hiring was made public. And shortly after Mr. Scaramucci called Mr. Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” — adding a more vulgar term to the beginning of the phrase — Mr. Priebus, too, offered his resignation.

Mr. Trump was initially pleased by Mr. Scaramucci’s harsh remarks, directed at Mr. Priebus and Steve Bannon, the chief White House strategist. But over the weekend, after speaking with his family and Mr. Kelly, the president began to see the brash actions of his subordinate as a political liability and potential embarrassment, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Scaramucci’s swift departure is an early indication that Mr. Kelly intends to assert his authority over the operations of the White House, and that several of the big personalities there — including Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump and Mr. Bannon — may be inclined to defer to him.

It also suggests that, at least for the moment, Mr. Kelly has the president’s support in that effort.

The president still values Mr. Scaramucci, according to people close Mr. Trump and his family, and is hoping to find another, less high profile, position for him in the White House — although it is uncertain if Mr. Scaramucci would be willing to accept a demotion.

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