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Kremlin frets US sanctions may hurt European projects like Nord Stream 2

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The Kremlin said on Monday it was worried that proposed new U.S. sanctions against Moscow could hurt major investment projects with European partners, but said it was premature to say if and how it would retaliate.

The White House said on Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump was open to signing legislation toughening sanctions on Russia after Senate and House leaders reached agreement on a bill late last week.

That has raised concerns in Germany which has already threatened to retaliate against the United States if the new sanctions end up penalising German firms, such as those involved with building Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Moscow was worried that U.S. sanctions could hit third countries, as well as Russia, hard.

“We are working with our European partners on implementing a number of large-scale projects,” said Peskov, when asked about the possible impact of the new U.S. sanctions on projects like Nord Stream 2.

“It goes without saying that we and our European partners attach great importance to finishing these projects and we will work towards this,” he said. “That is why discussions about ‘sanctions themes’ — which could potentially obstruct these projects — are a cause of concern for us.”

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Peskov said the Kremlin took “an extremely negative view” of the proposed new sanctions, calling the rhetoric surrounding them counter-productive and damaging to U.S.-Russia ties.

But he said Moscow was for now ready to wait and see what the final shape of the sanctions might be.

“As for the Washington administration’s stance on sanctions, we have seen some corrections to it,” said Peskov.

“We will wait patiently … until this position has been formulated unambiguously.”

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Separately, Peskov declined to comment on reports that the European Union might discuss new sanctions against Moscow over its delivery of Siemens turbines to sanctioned Crimea.

Reuters on Monday quoted two diplomatic sources in Brussels as saying that Germany was urging the European Union to add up to four more Russian nationals and companies to the bloc’s sanctions blacklist over Siemens gas turbines delivered to Moscow-annexed Crimea.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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‘Call the mall cops!’ Roy Moore roasted after saying he’ll make ‘more personal contact with people’ in Senate run

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Roy Moore, the far-right politician who infamously lost an Alabama Senate race in 2017 after allegations emerged about him molesting teenage girls, announced on Thursday that he was going to once again run for office in 2020.

While touting his potential rematch with Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Moore was asked by a reporter what he will do differently this time around.

"I would like to make more personal contact with people," Moore responded.

Given that Moore's history of "personal contact" with underage women was what cost him the 2017 Senate race -- and even allegedly got him banned from a shopping mall that grew weary of his regular efforts to pick up teen girls -- Moore was quickly buried in ridicule on Twitter.

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Trump ‘lit his own house on fire’ by pulling out of Iran nuclear deal: International relations expert

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Kelly Magsamen, the VP of National Security and International Policy for the Center for American Progress explained during an MSNBC interview Thursday that the president is causing his own problems with Iran.

Speaking to host Ali Velshi, Magsamen said that it was Trump who "lit his own house on fire" when he breached the Iran treaty known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"I think we are definitely in the middle of an escalatory (sic) cycle, and how do we get out of it," Magsamen told the host. "And unfortunately, the White House has left itself very few options in terms of escalating or de-escalating and same for the Iranians, frankly. [The Iranians] probably perceive this as an attack from their perspective."

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Former Marco Rubio adviser slams the senators’ humiliating transformation into a ‘Trump fan-boy’

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Max Boot is well known as a conservative anti-Trump columnist for the Washington Post, but he was also a foreign policy adviser for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. And in a new piece on Thursday, Boot revealed just how depressing he finds Rubio’s “humiliating transformation into a Trump fan-boy.”

Rubio’s support for the president came under new scrutiny this week after he appeared at Donald Trump’s recent rally in Orlando and tweeted an enthusiastic endorsement:

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