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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens as President Donald Trump speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017

    Why US, German Interests Clash Over Anti-Russia Sanctions This Time

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    Last week, the US Senate approved a new package of anti-Russian sanctions, including in the energy field. The EU also expressed its readiness to prolong the 2014 sanctions, however, no formal decision has been adopted so far.

    If the new sanctions are implemented by the EU in the form in which they were adopted by the US Senate, this will have far more drastic consequences than the previous restrictive measures, the chairman of the board of the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber, Matthias Schepp, said in an interview with Sputnik Germany.

    "Sanctions have a negative impact on businesses. We would be very pleased if sanctions were abolished in the near future. They have a negative impact not only on the Russian and German economy, but also on the political sphere," Schepp said.

    According to him, Russia will never develop along the path the West wants it to. If the sanctions last for 15-20 years, this will only isolate Russia from the West and further deteriorate Russia-EU relations.

    "The course on economic reforms in Russia will continue despite the sanctions. We can conclude this from the fact that Russia climbed from the 124th to the 40th place in the World Bank's investment rating. The Russian government has succeeded in continuing the course of economic reforms and reached significant progress in improving the investment climate in certain areas," Schepp said.

    "No country invests in localization as much as German companies. Only in 2016, the amount of investments, according to Deutsche Bundesbank, reached about 2 billion euros," he concluded.

    The US Senate approved a new package of anti-Russian sanctions amid Russia's alleged meddling in last year's US election. The sanctions include a clause that aims to stop Europe's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project by threatening sanctions against European firms involved in the project.

    Germany and Austria have reacted strongly to the sanctions, which were decided unilaterally and without any discussion with Washington's allies in Europe. Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern called them a threat to Europe's energy supplies, which would put thousands of jobs on the line.


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