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German top diplomat slams US anti-Russian sanctions

On August 2, US President Donald Trump tightened sanctions against Russia
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel  AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
© AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

BERLIN, August 8. /TASS/. The new round of US restrictive measures against Russia can call into question the solidarity of Western countries in terms of the Ukrainian crisis, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Westfaelische Nachrichten newspaper published on Tuesday.

"It is important for us, the so-called West, to stick together," he said. "The law on imposing sanctions passed last week is detrimental to that." According to the minister, the Western countries’ strength in relations with Moscow after Crimea’s reunification with Russia was that the European Union and the United States were united. "However, such moves put this into jeopardy," Gabriel added.

He also expressed the conviction that US President Donald Trump needs "close coordination [with European partners] before putting sanctions in place." "Moreover, sanctions against European companies are totally inadmissible," the German foreign minister stressed.

According to Gabriel, in general, Europe will stand to lose from the crisis in relations between the US and Russia. "Cooperation between Russians and Americans is necessary in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, in the fight against the Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia) and on many other issues," he concluded.

On July 27, the US Congress endorsed a bill specifying tougher sanctions against Russia. On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed this bill into law. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in response to that that "the sanctions imposed by the US will not force Russia to change its policy or give up its interests."