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Russia slams US sanctions on European gas pipeline

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the United States, accusing it of seeking to prevent other countries from developing their economies.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Picture: AFP.

MOSCOW - Russia hit out Saturday at the US decision to impose sanctions on companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will transport Russian gas to Europe.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the United States, accusing it of seeking to prevent other countries from developing their economies.

"A state with $22 trillion in public debt is banning solvent countries from developing their economies," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

"The American ideology does not like global competition. Soon they'll be asking us to stop breathing."

On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed off on US sanctions against companies building the pipeline that Congress fears will give the Kremlin dangerous leverage over European allies.

The sanctions, which are opposed by the European Union, were included in a sprawling defence spending bill Trump signed at a ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, an air force installation outside Washington, DC.

They target companies building the nearly $11 billion pipeline under the Baltic Sea with the aim of doubling deliveries of Russian natural gas to Europe's leading economy, Germany.

US lawmakers have warned the pipeline would enrich a hostile Russian government and vastly increase President Vladimir Putin's influence in Europe at a time of heightened tension across the continent.

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