Germany and Austria have voiced sharp criticism of the latest U.S. sanctions against Moscow because they could affect European businesses involved in piping Russian natural gas to Europe.
The Republican-led Senate voted Wednesday to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy and individuals over its interference in the U.S. election campaign and its aggression in Syria and Ukraine.
Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a joint statement Thursday that "we can't accept ... the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies."
They accuse the U.S. of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their European rivals.
The two officials said: "Europe's energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America!"