09:46 GMT23 October 2020
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    Commenting on Germany's readiness to discuss the new anti-Russian sanctions with US President Donald Trump, a Russian political analyst told Sputnik that such talks could become a new stage in the situation with the sanctions.

    Earlier this week, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that US President Donald Trump has yet to decide on whether or not to slap a new round of sanctions against Russia.

    "There is still time. Obviously, President Trump has not yet decided whether he will tighten the anti-Russian sanctions," media reports quoted Gabriel as saying.

    "In any case, the law stipulates [the US] holding preliminary consultations with us Europeans, before this can happen," Gabriel said, referring to the possible imposition of the new anti-Russian sanctions.

    He pledged to use this opportunity for the discussion while in close contact with [US Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson."

    Gabriel also stressed that the goal of the sanctions is to end the Ukrainian crisis and exert political pressure, something that he said could be implemented if "we act together and cohesively." 

    At the same time, he promised to rebuff the industrial policy of the United States that it pursues under the cover of sanctions.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Russian political analyst Alexey Zudin noted that for the first time in many years, the US's anti-Russian actions caused an uproar in Europe.

    "Perhaps for the first time in post-Soviet history, the EU expressed dissatisfaction regarding Washington's restrictive measures against Russia after it became clear that the sanctions would be slapped and that they would seriously affect European companies and the EU economy. EU officials made rather stern statements that the US's actions are unacceptable, even saying that the EU isn't ruling out retaliatory measures," Zudin said.

    He added that "the current situation envisaged that there will be this situation's next round which will see negotiations between the US and the European Union on these new anti-Russian sanctions."

    Zudin singled out at least two major aspects pertaining to the matter.

    "The main thing is whether such negotiations will finally take place and secondly, many wonder whether Europe will accept possible [the sanctions-related] concessions from Trump and whether there will be any such concessions at all. This is where a new intrigue lies," he concluded.

    Earlier, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries lashed out at the US's anti-Russian sanctions program, saying that it violates international law and punishes European firms; Zypries called on the European Union to consider countermeasures against Washington.

    "We consider this as being against international law, plain and simple. The Americans can't punish German companies because they have business interests in another country, but unfortunately that is exactly what they are doing. That means that it is right that the European Commission now considers countermeasures," she said.

    The latest sanctions bill will fine businesses for helping Moscow expand and enhance its energy export pipelines, theoretically leaving European energy firms open to incurring harsh penalties for having ties to Russian companies.

    Of particular concern to Zypries is Nord Stream 2, a pipeline project aimed at pumping Russian natural gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea to landfall in Germany. The project is being spearheaded by Gazprom, and supported by a number of European partners, including Germany's Wintershall and Austria's OMV.


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