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“Sanctions will only damage ourselves and affect, first of all, eastern Germany’s economy,” Winkler told Germany’s weekly magazine SUPERillu on Monday.
US calls for more rigorous sanctions against Moscow suggested that Washington pursued its own economic objectives, he was quoted as saying.
“After the fracking boom, (a new method of hydraulic fracturing - mining technology using liquid injected at high pressure to break apart rocks and extract gas and oil) the United States has been on its way to becoming the world’s largest gas exporter,” Winkler said. “Russia is now an unwelcome competitor.”
“We should stop being a servant of the Americans,” he said, adding that the Ukrainian crisis could only be settled in co-operation with Moscow.
A policy of confrontation was “blind to history and deaf to the other side,” Winkler said.