Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (28 July) on the adoption of a law on sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea by the US Congress:
“What happens next is now up to President Trump.
Our offer to coordinate our policies towards Russia closely and in a spirit of mutual trust stands. It is good that Congress has now explicitly stipulated that consultations must be held with the United States’ European partners before further measures can be taken.
We have already had a good dialogue with the US Administration for some time. We will continue to advocate joint action. We must not forget what is involved – we want to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. There is consensus between us that this requires exerting political pressure on Moscow. That is the reason and the benchmark for our European sanctions – not more, but also not less.
If the Russian leadership makes a move and we are finally able to make progress as regards implementing the Minsk agreements, it is also conceivable that these sanctions will be gradually eased.
Our stance remains that we will not accept any extraterritorial use whatsoever of these US sanctions against European companies. President Trump knows that, and so do the State Department and the US Administration. Sanctions policies are neither a suitable nor an appropriate instrument for promoting national export interests and the domestic energy sector.”