The unprecedented demarche of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Austria and Germany unusually harshly criticized the draft law on new anti-Russian sanctions. This shows that the relationship between Washington and Brussels has entered a new era, writes Kommersant publication.
"Firstly, never have high-ranking officials of the EU countries so sharply criticized the course of US policy toward Russia. Second, the informal leader of the European Union, Germany, speaking in tandem with Austria, actually somewhat intervened in domestic political rivalry of the United States, supporting the position of one of the parties. The party of the administration of Donald Trump, which through the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tried to ward off senators from accepting the document in its original form, but has not been heard. European politicians expressed support for "the efforts of the Department of State, aimed at changing the bill."

Third, Moscow has received an encouraging signal that Germany (which expects implementation of the "Nord Stream-2"), and they are ready to defend it - if necessary, even at the cost of a public conflict with the US Senate.

Fourth, Europeans, stung by a number of recent decisions by Washington (and in particular its exit from the Paris Agreement on climate), have made it clear to Donald Trump also, as well as Congress, that they will not automatically support all of their foreign policy initiatives, but will be guided by their own interests and principles, - stated in the publication.

"In general, the relationship between the Euro-Atlantic allies, seems to be entering a new era. And the Russian question - to the surprise of many - has become one of the key issues." - sums up the publication.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project will transport natural gas into the European Union to enhance security of supply, support climate goals and strengthen the internal energy market. Domestic supply in the EU is set to half over the next two decades, while Russia's geographic proximity, plentiful gas reserves and history of reliable supply make it a natural partner for a new gas transportation route.