The situation has been building for a long time; it finally started to come to a head less than two weeks ago, when the U.S. Senate imposed additional sanctions against Russia in an amendment to a bill to impose sanctions on Iran. The new sanctions against Russia would hurt German and other European energy companies. The reaction from German and Austrian politicians was the strongest against the United States I've heard in my lifetime. Although the White House is trying to get the sanctions in the bill watered down, this hasn't mollified the Europeans.
The Final Straw: Germany Mulling Over Sanctions -- This Time Against the US
June 24, 2017 - 12:32
In a joint statement, Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern slammed the decision by the US Senate to impose new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged interference in the US presidential election as well as the ongoing situations in Ukraine and Syria.
"Threatening German, Austrian and other European enterprises with penalties on the US market only because they take part in the gas supply projects such as the Nord Stream 2 together with Russia or finance them, is adding an absolutely new and highly negative aspect in relations between the US and Europe," the joint statement reads.
For his part, the leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, lambasted US senators' move
and called upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel to oppose it.
"We have seen that the US is pursuing a course in energy policy that is dangerous and is directed against Germany," Schulz told the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI).
Lots more in the report.