Russia is already drawing a wedge between America and its closest NATO allies in other ways. Germany and the European Union have been disturbed by new congressional sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, according to Jonathan Fenby, managing director of European political research at the investment research firm TS Lombard. Russian energy companies building the Nord Stream 2 gas export pipeline to Europe, however, are targeted in the new sanctions bill. This is “the latest of a series of developments that augur ill for trans-Atlantic relations,” wrote Fenby in a research letter to investors Sunday. “Germany and Austria, whose companies are investing in the pipeline, criticized the Senate vote for adding a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations.’” Fenby said. The new sanctions are just “another brick in the wall of European reaction to Trump’s criticism of European defence spending,” Fenby wrote.
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