German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged Europe to react to the US sanctions-related policy on Russia, China, Turkey and other important economic partners.
“Washington prompts us to formulate European responses to its sanctions-related policy, something which pertains to Europe and Germany. We should react to the United States suddenly imposing uncoordinated and rather nonspecific sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey and in the future, perhaps, against other important trading partners,” he underlined.
Maas also said that Donald Trump winning the 2016 US presidential elections showed that “we do not know America as much as we thought.”
Europe “needs a new, balanced partnership with the United States,” Maas said, adding that “by strengthening the European direction of the transatlantic partnership, we create conditions for the EU and the US to rely on each other.”
The German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) cited Maas as saying that he plans to make use of the Year of Germany in the US, which is due to begin on October 3, in order to promote the new policy.
“It’s high time we reassess the transatlantic partnership in a sober, critical and even self-critical way,” Maas emphasized, in an apparent reference to US-German relations.
He called for more efforts to be made so as to “strengthen the autonomy and sovereignty of Europe in trade, economic and financial policies.”
“It will not be easy, but we have already begun to do it. We are working on proposals pertaining to […] payment channels and creating a payment system independent of SWIFT to establish a European currency fund, Maas noted.