The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (OAOEV) said on Friday that US extraterritorial sanctions on Russia contradict the principles of democracy and called for the European Union and Germany to “decisively defend” themselves against US restrictions no matter what countries they target.

“All attempts to apply US extraterritorial sanctions violate our democratic sovereign rights, that is why we should decisively defend ourselves against such attempts no matter what countries these measures target,” Wolfgang Buchele, the OAOEV chair, said, as cited by the organization.

Buchele expressed hope that the European Union and Germany, in particular, would stand by its position that US sanctions toward non-US enterprises contradicted international law.

On Wednesday, Washington announced new anti-Russian sanctions over Moscow’s alleged use of chemical weapons in England’s Salisbury against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in March. The new sanctions ban exports of electronic devices and dual-use components to Russia. Further restrictions, including banning Russian carrier Aeroflot’s US flights, limiting diplomatic ties and halting US exports, may be avoided if Washington confirms that Russia “is no longer using chemical or biological weapons.”

Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in Skripal’s poisoning. Moscow has pointed to the lack of evidence and said the UK authorities refuse to cooperate with Russia in probing the Salisbury incident as per international law.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Washington’s justifying new sanctions by the Salisbury incident was unacceptable and illegitimate. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pledged that Russia would retaliate with similar measures.

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