29 Jul, 2017
In a survey published by Der Spiegel, 83 percent of Germans over 18 disapprove of the US’ planned expanded sanctions on Russia, with a mere six percent expressing approval.
The poll, carried out by the Forsa Institute market research firm, asked 1,002 Germans over the age of 18 the following question: “The US wants to expand the economic campaigns against Russia so that companies from Germany and other European countries will also face penalties on the American market when they participate in or finance natural gas projects with Russia. Do you think it is right or wrong for the US expanding sanctions in this way?”
The results of the survey, which was conducted from July 7 to 11, before the decision by Congress on Thursday to impose a new round of sanctions, also showed that 77 percent believe it was a self-interested move by the United States to strengthen its own economy.
The German government has stood against the latest sanctions bill passed by Congress, which explicitly prioritizes the interests of US energy companies.
“It remains the case that we will not accept an extraterritorial application of these US sanctions against European companies,” Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Der Spiegel on Friday.
The sanctions target Russian gas and pipeline developments by codifying six of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders implemented near the end of his term.
They also take aim at Russia’s major defense, mining, shipping, and railway industries.
The bill has alarmed the EU, as it would harm European companies taking part in Russian-EU energy projects – the Nordstream II pipeline being the most prominent example.
However, despite the criticism of the United States, the Forsa survey did not show entirely positive views of Russia. Only 38 percent of respondents considered Russia a reliable partner, compared to 53 percent in a survey carried out in 2013, before the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis.