German Business Urges New Gov’t to Facilitate Turnaround in Ties With Russia

German Business Urges New Gov’t to Facilitate Turnaround in Ties With Russia
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AP Photo/ Thomas KienzleEurope20:23 30.01.2018(updated 20:51 30.01.2018) Get short URL
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BERLIN (Sputnik) – The new German government should focus its diplomatic efforts on improving US-Russian relations and seeking a solution to the Ukraine crisis, Chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buchele said on Tuesday.

On Monday, the leaders of eastern German federal lands called for the removal of the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions due to their inefficiency and negative impact on local agriculture.

“Now, we need a diplomatic offensive aimed at improving Russian-US relations and settling the Ukraine crisis. It should be the focus of the new federal government, as prime ministers of eastern German federal lands are demanding,” a press release obtained by Sputnik read.

Chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buechele said that losses accrued due to economic sanctions between the European Union and Russia have exceeded 100 billion euros ($124.4 billion) since 2014.

“According to Kiel University’s research, the losses over mutual economic sanctions imposed in 2014 now exceed 100 billion euros. About 60 percent attributes to Russia, nearly 40 percent to the EU economy. So, the EU economy pays a heavy price for the conflict, the responsibility for which falls on politicians,” Buechele said.

German businesses in Russia expect that the diplomatic efforts on settlement of disagreements between the sides would be, eventually, determined, Buechele added.

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department published a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 businesspeople in the so-called “Kremlin report.” The list was compiled under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, which was passed by the US Congress last summer and enacted by President Donald Trump on August 2. Though the document does not stipulate automatic sanctioning, it potentially paves the way for more anti-Russian restrictions.

Commenting on the “Kremlin report,” Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as an unfriendly move that harms relations between Moscow and Washington in general. He also said that Russia would refrain from taking retaliatory measures and observe how the situation develops.

In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia’s energy, banking, defense and other sectors, as well as on a number of Russian officials.

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