Germany calls for countermeasures against ‘illegal’ US sanctions on Russia

The German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries on Monday slammed the latest round of US sanctions against Russia as being “against international law.”

Germany calls for countermeasures against ‘illegal’ US sanctions on Russia
Brigitte Zypries. Phoot: DPA

The planned new US sanctions are set to hit German and European companies which have business interests in Russia.

“We see that as being against international law, plain and simple,” Zypries, of the Social Democrats (SPD), told the Funke Mediengruppe.

“The Americans can’t punish German companies because they have business interests in another country.”

The Economy Minister said that she did not want this to be the start of a trade war with the US, but emphasized that Germany had repeatedly asked Washington not to deviate from the common western sanctions policy against Russia.

“Unfortunately that is exactly what they are doing. That means that it is right that the European Commission now considers countermeasures.”

“Europe is ready to adopt short-term countermeasures – in other parts of the world too,” Zypries warned.

Both houses of Congress approved the new sanctions against Russia due to Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US election last year and over the annexation of the Crimea in 2014.

Russia responded to the sanctions on Sunday by announcing it would eject over 700 American diplomats from the country.