Germany warns U.S. to consider sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

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Germany warns U.S. to consider sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

BERLIN, Jan 23, Reuters - Germany's leader has warned Europe and the United States to consider carefully when considering sanctions against Russia for any aggression against Ukraine in a crisis that pits Berlin's main gas supplier against its biggest security allies.

Among a range of possible Western sanctions against President Vladmir Putin's government, Germany could halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia if it invades Ukraine.

There is a chance that it will cause a gas supply crunch in Europe that has caused energy prices to soar.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Scholz was quoted as saying by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Sunday that Prudence dictates what measures will have the greatest effect on those who do not adhere to the agreed principles.

Scholz said that nobody should think that there was a measure available without consequences for Germany and that we have to consider the consequences this will have for us.

Scholz countered any impression that the United States and Europe could not agree on a joint set of sanctions, according to a pre-release of the interview.

We agree on possible measures in the circle of allies. He said that we have to be able to act in case of an emergency.

The European Union has threatened massive sanctions and the U.S. Senate Democrats have unveiled a bill that could punish Russian officials, military leaders and banking institutions.

Russia has tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine's borders but denies that it intends to invade the former Soviet republic. Since its annexation of Crimea from its neighbour in 2014, it has been subject to some sanctions. Scholz rejected a request by Russia to rule out Ukraine's membership in the NATO military alliance once and for all. The chancellor said such a guarantee can't be given.

He did say that NATO membership of other nations in eastern Europe was not currently on the agenda at all.