World Economy

Anti-Russia Sanctions Hurt Germany

Anti-Russia Sanctions Hurt GermanyAnti-Russia Sanctions Hurt Germany

In the first quarter of 2015, the growth of the German economy was slower than predicted. The reasons for this are the anti-Russian sanctions and euro crisis.

Anti-Russian sanctions have had a negative impact on the German economy, aggravated by the euro crisis, Sputnik reported.

The gross domestic product (GDP) rose from January to March only by 0.3 percent compared with the previous quarter, the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Wednesday.

All in all, economic indicators are well below the forecasts of economists who had anticipated a growth of 2 percent in 2015.

The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU countries are a major problem for Germany. Russian ambassador to Germany Vladimir Grinin told DWN newspaper that sanctions massively hurt both Germany and Russia.

In 2014, German exports to Russia fell dramatically by 18.1 percent or 6.5 billion euros. The trade turnover between the two countries decreased by 12.09 percent to 67.7 billion euros ($76b) compared with 77.03 billion euros in 2013.

The negative trend has continued through the beginning of 2015, with the decline in German exports reaching a new low of 34 percent in January and February.

  New Detente

There is no alternative to lifting sanctions the western countries imposed on Russia, Sudwest Presse quoted a well-known German politician Dr. Horst Teltschik as saying.

“We will not change Russia by sanctions,” he said during a speech at the Response Forces Operations Command (RFOC), headquartered in the city of Ulm.

Hence, there is no alternative to lifting restrictive measures the West slapped on Russia over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian crisis, a groundless claim the Kremlin has always denied.

Moreover, sanctions will have no positive effect, whether they work or not. “Weak Russia … is more dangerous for Europe and the West than a strong one,” Teltschik warned.

With the sanctions gone, the West and Russia should focus on a new detente, according to the politician, who served as a national security advisor to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

The German politician also criticized the EU and other western countries for not really thinking about a new world order following 1990. As a result, “for ten years there was only one superpower – the United States,” Teltschik said.

Meanwhile, a proposed declarative resolution by a group of MEPs has called on the European Union to step up sanctions against Russia, provide Ukraine with weaponry and further strengthen NATO forces in Eastern Europe, should Russia refuse to return Crimea to Ukraine or fail to abide by the Minsk ceasefire, a press statement for the body stated Tuesday.

The aggressively worded document, drafted Monday and liaised by Romanian MEP Ioan Pascu for the parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, warns that Russia’s increased military presence in Crimea should prompt EU nations to strengthen their military capabilities, adding that NATO must give its East European members a “strong strategic reassurance.”