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Most Germans are against US anti-Russian sanctions - poll results

According to the results of a poll, 77% of respondents say this initiative is Washington’s attempt to improve its positions in the economy

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Some 83% Germans call the U.S. new sanctions against Russia an incorrect initiative taken by Washington, results of a poll conducted by the Forsa polling group show.

Spiegel published the results on Saturday. Only six percent of the polled support the new sanctions, while 77% of respondents say this initiative is Washington’s attempt to improve its positions in the economy. The survey was conducted on July 7-11.

On July 27, the U.S. Senate adopted a bill toughening the U.S.’ unilateral sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. On Tuesday, it won the majority of votes in the House of Representatives. Now, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will by referred to President Donald Trump.

On Friday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the sanctions should not be allowed to hit the interests of the energy industry, and Germany will not permit a situation in which the latest package of U.S. restrictive measures against Russia might hit European companies.

The Europeans find the mention of the Nord Stream-2 project in the bill very worrisome. The proposed legal act requires the U.S. government should go ahead with resistance to the laying of this pipeline. It argues that the project would have adverse effects on the European Union’s energy security, the gas markets of Central and Eastern Europe and energy reforms in Ukraine. Alongside this the bill urges the U.S. government to "prioritize" the export of U.S. energy resources to Europe and create American jobs.

Gabriel once again speculated there was a possibility of easing anti-Russian sanctions if progress in implementing the Minsk Accords were achieved.

""It is good the U.S. Congress urges consultations with the European partners before taking new measures," he said. "We will insist on acting in concert further on. We should not forget the issue on the agenda - the settlement of a conflict in eastern Ukraine."

On Friday, the Russian foreign ministry said that in response to the U.S.’ fresh round of anti-Russian sanctions it reduced the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia to 455 and closes access to the embassy’s compound in Serebryany Bor from August 1.

Strains in relations between Russia and the United States started in 2014, after Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Washington froze cooperation with Moscow in many areas having imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and legal entities. Russia imposed countersanctions and announced the suspension of the deal on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium and two research programs in nuclear physics over a "threat to strategic stability stemming from unfriendly actions."

In late 2016, the United States imposed another round of sanctions against Russian intelligence services and a number of individuals having accused them of meddling with the U.S. elections. The U.S. administration also expelled 35 Russia diplomats and seized two Russian compounds in the States of New York and Maryland.