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US bill on anti-Russian sanctions contravenes international law — German minister

"America cannot fine German companies for doing business in another country," said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries

BERLIN, July 31. /TASS/. The new US bill on anti-Russian sanctions will affect European countries cooperating with Russia in the energy sector, and, therefore, these restrictive measures can ultimately run counter to international law, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, said in an interview with the newspapers, which are part of Germany’s Funke media group, published on Monday.

"We believe this is a violation of international law," the minister said referring to the fact that the fresh sanctions may restrict companies’ activities in the EU. "America cannot fine German companies for doing business in another country," she said. "According to Zypries, Europe does not want a trade war with the US, that is why it has always been in favor of coordinated efforts with the US on the sanctions policy issue. In light of this, she recalled that the EU is exploring possible tit-for-tat moves.

The US Senate earlier approved a bill specifying tougher unilateral American sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. Now this document titled "Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" will be submitted to US President Donald Trump for his potential stamp of approval to become law.

Europeans are concerned about the fact that the Nord Stream-2 project is mentioned in the bill, which claims that it has a harmful effect on the European Union’s energy security, the development of the gas market of the Central and Eastern Europe and energy reforms in Ukraine. At the same time, the bill states that the US government should prioritize exports of US energy resources to Europe to create jobs in its own economy.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday that sanctions should not serve the interests of the energy sector. According to Gabriel, if a new package of restrictive measures aimed, in particular, at Russia, affects European companies, Germany will not tolerate that.