German Chancellor Angela Merkel has threatened to punish the Trump administration over their ‘illegal’ sanctions against Russia. Germany has urged European Union ministers to consider harsh sanctions against the United States for violating international law following penalties imposed against Moscow.

 

Rt.com reports: “We consider this as being against international law, plain and simple,” Brigitte Zypries told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain.

“Of course we don’t want a trade war. But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures,” she added.

Merkel threatens to retaliate against Trump over Russia sanctions According to the minister, “the Americans can not punish German companies because they operate economically in another country.” Last week, both chambers of the US Congress decided to impose new sanctions against Russia over its Crimea reunification and alleged meddling in US elections. The bill has still to be signed by US President Donald Trump. This is the first time Washington has made a move against Moscow without European consent.
The bill appears to target Russia’s Nord Stream-2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany. The proposed expansion would double the existing pipeline’s capacity and make Germany EU’s main energy hub.

The legislation seeks to introduce individual sanctions for contributing in Russian energy projects and targets major sectors of Russia’s economy, including defense, railway, and banking industries.

The new sanctions on Russia have been criticized by several senior politicians in Europe, including the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Critics of the US government’s move argue the sanctions could affect European energy security and serve Washington’s economic interests – in line with the “America First” policy of president Donald Trump.

‘Forcing us to give up Russian gas to sell own is unacceptable’ – German FM blasts US sanctions bill “We deem it absolutely unacceptable when a bill demands that Europeans give up on Russian gas so that they could sell American instead, at a much higher price,” Gabriel said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom currently supplies a third of European gas demands, having delivered a record 179 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Europe in 2016. Construction of additional delivery infrastructure would diversify the supply of Russian gas and make the delivery of fuel much cheaper than the costly US alternative of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Speaking in Warsaw, Poland in July, Trump made clear that the US is interested in expanding energy ties with Europe, especially with Central and Eastern European nations.

“We are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” Trump said after Poland received its first shipment of American LNG in June.

  Polish President Andrzej Duda later expressed hope that his country will become a pan-European energy hub able to distribute gas across the EU.

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Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy: ‘The Real Second Amendment Isn’t Absolute

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Saturday there is a “real” Second Amendment and an “imaginary” one and he believes the real one is “not absolute.”

Murphy, “I support the real 2nd Amendment, not the imaginary 2nd Amendment. And the real 2nd Amendment isn’t absolute.”

The statement was a precursor to his call for banning “assault rifles” in the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting, even though “assault rifles” were not used in the attack.

Murphy said the “real 2nd Amendment…allows Congress to wake up to reality and ban these assault rifles that are designed for one purpose only – to kill as many people as fast as possible.”

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) said the Santa Fe High School attackers used a .38 revolver and a shotgun to carry out his heinous acts. Therefore, a ban on “assault rifles” would have done nothing to prevent the attack from occurring or the tragic loss of life from taking place.

It should be noted that Saturday was not the first time Sen. Murphy called the essence of the Second Amendment into question. On August 6, 2013, Breitbart News reported that Murphy told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that “The Second Amendment is not an absolute right, not a God-given right. It has always had conditions upon it like the First Amendment has.”

Murphy did not grapple with the words, “Shall not be infringed.”

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