France and Germany have so far spoken out against the bill that the US House passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday as one that adversely affects European industries while advancing US commercial interests.
"The planned US sanctions will damage German business in Russia: they undermine the transfer of know-how and technology, instill lack of confidence in entrepreneurs, increase protectionism and create a new field for conflicts," the chamber said.
"It is not entirely clear why the United States is unilaterally trying to create a new base for new sanctions. This threatens not only Europe's energy security, which in the future will need Russian gas supplies, but also the business of German companies in Russia," Chamber President Rainer Seele said.
The anti-Russian sanctions continue to hinder economic cooperation between Russia and Germany, German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations said.
"Sanctions continue to hamper the cooperation," the committee's Managing Director Michael Harms said, commenting on the US sanctions bill against Russia, which also affects European companies working with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction.The bill, which is yet to be approved by the Senate and the administration of US President Donald Trump, has already prompted criticism within the European Union. Thus, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern have condemned the draft of new US sanctions, which, they said on June 15, were about "selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market."
In April, Gazprom's subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG signed a deal with French Engie, UK’s Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, which agreed to provide part of long-term financing of the gas pipeline project, estimated at 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).
The Nord Stream 2 project presumes the construction of two gas pipelines with a combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The new pipeline is planned to be laid along the existing Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea, on to a hub in Germany.