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German top diplomat points to major hurdles in forming united 'sanctions' stance with US

June 19, 2017, 14:15 UTC+3

Sigmar Gabriel said it was "inadmissible to use sanctions to remove Russian gas from the market and sell American"

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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

© Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP

LUXEMBOURG, June 19. /TASS/. US plans to impose new sanctions on Russia are threatening the unity of Washington and Brussels on restrictive measures against Moscow, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday upon arrival at the meeting of the EU member-countries’ foreign ministers.

"The issue at hand is preserving the unity of the EU and the US with respect to Russia. It will be impossible to do that, if the US makes attempts to mix its own economic interests with foreign policy," he emphasized.

"Europe oversees its energy policy itself," the German top diplomat went on to say. "It is inadmissible to use sanctions to remove Russian gas from the market and sell American."

Referring to the prospects for removing sanctions imposed by the European Union over developments in eastern Ukraine, the minister said that progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreement is important for Berlin first and foremost. "If that were the case, it would be possible to remove the relevant sanctions," he added.

According to Gabriel, "so far this has not happened," and it is difficult to discuss the removal of restrictive measures. "We discuss ways of making progress, at least, to establish a truce and control it," the minister explained. That could be "the first major step," Gabriel noted. "Unfortunately, this has not been achieved yet," he added.

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