BERLIN, 11 Feb – RIA Novosti. German business considers it senseless to toughen economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, it would be “the wrong way,” said Michael Harms, executive director of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy (Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft eV) in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“During the conflict over Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, and, unfortunately, it seems that there is no possibility of lifting these sanctions in the short term. But we believe that new economic sanctions are the wrong way. We must try how no matter how difficult it is, to find a common position with Russia. Five principles of the EU in relations with Russia were agreed in 2016, so there are good guidelines for further work. As the German economy, we consider tightening economic sanctions pointless, “Harms said …
He added that “political tensions could lead to a further distance of Russia from Europe and Germany,” such a development of events “could severely hit economic relations.” Kharms called on “to prevent further escalation.”
The EU is planning to expand sanctions against Russia against the background of another cooling in relations. A decision on this can be made already during the upcoming meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU states on February 22.
EU countries criticize the court's decision on Alexei Navalny, as well as the detention of participants in unauthorized rallies in support of him.
Navalny was detained on January 17 at Sheremetyevo upon his return from Germany. In early February, the court replaced his suspended sentence with a real one in the case of embezzlement of funds from the Yves Rocher company, which was issued back in 2014.
Uncoordinated protests took place on January 23 in different cities of Russia and continued on the 31st, despite numerous warnings from the authorities, and on February 2 after the court's decision on Navalny.
The Eastern Committee of German Economics is a business association that brings together German companies and firms that operate in Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space.