In his opinion, Washington plans to ignore not only Russia's interests, but also the position of the European Union.
"We are facing a very tough point of confrontation, when no one can step back. We need to sit down and negotiate, but any agreement would look for America like a loss," the expert said.
In a joint statement, Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern said that Wednesday's decision by the US Senate to slap new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged meddling in the US presidential election and the Ukrainian conflict would make the European energy industry less competitive and would put thousands of jobs on the line.
The outlined anti-Russian measures provide for stiff penalties on enterprises that cooperate with Russian oil and gas companies. They also target Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that would double Russia's ability to supply gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea. The measures could affect European energy companies, including Shell, Engie and OMV, which are financing the pipeline.