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Austrian, German position on US sanctions indicative of seeing light

June 15, 23:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Quite possibly, standing behind this is something bigger than the assessment of the economic aftermaths of these sanctions," Leonid Slutsky said

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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Germany and Austria have come up with sound conclusions on the U.S. plans to expand the anti-Russian sanctions, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma foreign policy committee told TASS on Thursday.

"Quite possibly, standing behind this is something bigger than the assessment of the economic aftermaths of these sanctions," he said.

"That’s one more indicator that shows a growing displeasure among European politicians over the U.S. meddling with the formation of Europe’s new architecture and the obtrusion of American guidelines, including in the sphere of cooperation between Russia and the EU," Slutsky said.

"Washington has always been present as a factor in the EU sanctions against Russia and these sanctions have already dealt a blow to the economies of European countries," he said. "As saddening as it is, the fact (Washington’s weighty presence - TASS) turns Europe into a U.S. appendage in the global system of coordinates where Washington marks off Russia as the main threat to its efforts to build a unipolar world."

Still the very fact that high-rank European politicians for the first time since 2014 called attention to the discrepancies between the U.S. discriminatory sanctions and the norms of international law is a remarkable and reassuring event, Slutsky said.

"That’s a pivotal point in a sense in that concerns the assessment of Washington’s expansion to the European institutes," he said.

"I hope this conclusion will be projected to the floor of the EU Council that also took a decision on the discriminatory sanctions against Russia, which run counter to the spirit of European cooperation," Slutsky indicated

"Moscow will continue pressing for the rise of a healthy, balanced and multipolar global architecture of the 21st century," he said.

Austrian Federal Chancellor Christian Kern and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued a joint statement earlier on the Thursday where they strongly criticized the U.S. Senate’s move to expand the anti-Russian sanctions and to target Russian energy resource export projects.

The sanctions introduced "a new and very negative quality in European-American relations," the statement said. It added that "Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not for the United States of America."

In a statement that The Financial Times described as an "unusually strongly worded" one, Kern and Gabriel said they could not accept the threat of illegal exterritorial sanctions against European companies, which were participating in the development of European energy supply.

The also said the U.S. was eyeing an expansion of exports of its own liquefied natural gas to Europe and therefore felt apprehensive of the competition the prospective Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would pump more volumes of Russian natural gas to Europe, could put up to its plans.

"Who gives us energy and how we decide is according to the rules of openness and market competition," Kern and Gabriel said.

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