22:27 GMT +321 October 2017
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    German Businesses 'Interested' in Lifting Sanctions to Develop Ties With Russia

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    Russia-Iran Sanctions Bill (66)
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    Two days have passed since the US Senate approved new sanctions against Russia. The move caused discontent among European countries as many fear that sanctions will negatively affect the EU economy.

    Earlier, German Minister of Economy Brigitte Zypries even warned against a possible trade war between the EU and the US.

    "The result [of the sanctions] is that our companies could suffer damage," Zypries told the ARD broadcaster.

    According to the minister, the United States was not trying to intentionally wrong Europe, but they fell out of step with Europe on the issue of sanctions. Zypries said that there was a possibility of retaliatory measures from the European Union and warned against engaging in a trade war.

    At the same time, German-Russian business relations continue to improve.

    According to Michael Harms, managing director of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, German enterprises are very much interested in the withdrawal of the sanctions against Russia.

    "Of course, we are interested in lifting the sanctions, because this would be beneficial for our economy. But we also believe that a flexible policy, a new approach to the Ukrainian conflict, would open up new opportunities. New sanctions will only strengthen protectionist sentiments in Russia," Harms told the German TV Channel Das Erste.

    In his turn, Konstantin Holodilin from the German Institute for Economic Research believes that the new sanctions won't significantly affect the Russian economy.

    "I believe that after three years of sanctions, the Russian economy has already accustomed to their effect. And I don't think that additional sanctions will affect Russia more," the expert told das Erste.

    On Thursday, US Senate approved a bill that would impose sweeping sanctions on Russia and seeks, in particular, to target companies that invest in Russian energy projects. The bill now has to be either signed or vetoed by US President Donald Trump.

    France and Germany have so far spoken out against the bill as it affects European industries while advancing US commercial interests.

    Topic:
    Russia-Iran Sanctions Bill (66)

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