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Author(s)Yevgeny Grigoryev
SourceCurrent Digest of the Russian Press, The ,  No.10,  Vol.066, March  03, 2014, page(s):20
  • Germany
Place of PublicationMinneapolis, USA
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Author: Yevgeny Grigoryev

THE GERMANS DON'T WANT TO BITE RUSSIA. (By Yevgeny Grigoryev. Nezavisimaya gazeta, March 6, 2014, p. 6. Complete text:) On the eve of an extraordinary European Union summit on Ukraine that convened today in Brussels, Europe's economic community worried that possible sanctions would be imposed against Russia. Germany, which has extensive economic ties with Russia, fears that sanctions would not so much undercut the Kremlin politically as come back to hurt the interests of German industry. "We advise politicians not to get out the big axe and impose broad economic sanctions," said Volker Treier, a leader of the Federal Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

The 28 members of the EU do not have a consensus. Sweden is leading the hawks, which are insisting on tough political and economic measures against Russia "here and now." It is joined by Poland, Hungary and the Baltic states. Conversely, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung, France, Italy and Great Britain are showing restraint, as they cannot be cavalier about the damage that constraints on the Russian economic giant could have on its major economies. The federal government also doesn't seem eager to embrace sanctions, preferring to deescalate the crisis by means of diplomacy and political dialogue with Moscow.

The US is creating the problem. The [US] White House and State Department are literally tying the hands of Europeans, insisting on imposing anti-Russian measures. And not just political, but also financial and economic ones. That's because, as the New York Times writes, without support from Europe, American sanctions won't have any bite, as far as Putin is concerned.

This is clearly a bid to get back [at Russia] at the expense of the Europeans. The US is not even among Russia's top 10 trading partners and has nothing to lose. The situation is entirely different in Europe. Its partnership with Russia is of great importance. This is especially true ...

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