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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is concerned that proposed new U.S. sanctions against Russia could lead to fines against European companies, a government spokesman said on Friday, labelling the U.S. move “strange” and «peculiar”, DW reported.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that Merkel shares the concern expressed at the new sanctions by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern in a Thursday joint statement. 

Seibert said it was strange that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged interference in the U.S. elections could also trigger penalties against European companies.

“That must not happen. We generally reject sanctions with extra-territorial effects, meaning an impact on third countries," Seibert said.

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