04:49 GMT +323 March 2018
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    Russia Expands Defense Cooperation in EU Amid US Threats of Sanctions - Lawmaker

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    US Department of State Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the Russian defense industry had lost over $3 billion in failed weapons deals with third countries, stating that it happened in virtue of new US sanctions against Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is enlarging its defense industry collaboration with Germany and other European countries despite the United States' threats to impose additional anti-Russian sanctions, Chairman of the Defense Committee of Russia's State Duma Vladimir Shamanov said.

    "Today many countries in Western Europe understand that their business interests are affected. Despite the attempt of blackmailing [on the part of the US], we are expanding our cooperation with Germany, we see an eagerness to cooperate with many countries in Eastern Europe’s Balkans region," Shamanov told reporters when asked whether Russia actually lost $3 billion in the defense sector.

    US Department of State Spokeswoman Heather Nauert informed that the Russian defense industry had lost over $3 billion in failed weapons deals due to the US sanctions. Nauert also said that the Department did not rule out potentially introducing sanctions against the 13 Russian individuals accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported that his department was working on new sanctions against Russia, which could be imposed in the "near future."

    READ MORE: US National Intelligence Head Defends Counterterrorism Cooperation With Russia

    Since 2014, Russian relations with Western states have deteriorated due to the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia following a referendum. The West, including the EU member states, responded by imposing several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations of meddling in Ukraine's of other states' affairs, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.


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