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New U.S. sanctions are more than problematic: German minister

German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel presides the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - The new sanctions against Russia that U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday are “more than problematic”, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

Speaking in the northern German city of Wolfsburg on Friday, Gabriel criticized the United States for departing from its cooperation with the European Union on Russia, saying this had been key to providing a strong response to Moscow in the past.

“The draft law makes clear that they’re pursuing economic interests and we think that’s not acceptable,” he said.

“Aggressively combining foreign policy issues with American economic interests and saying: we want to drive Russian gas out of the European market so we can sell American gas there is definitely not something we can accept.”

Reporting by Reuters TV; writing by Michelle Martin and Joseph Nasr