Arab Today, arab today russia trade ties weigh on germany in ukraine crisis
Last Updated : GMT 04:16:17
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Russia trade ties weigh on Germany in Ukraine crisis

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Russia trade ties weigh on Germany in Ukraine crisis

Berlin - AFP

Germany has tried to defuse the Western standoff with Moscow over Ukraine, but analysts say its voice is muted by fears of endangering its vast economic ties with Russia. Europe's top economy buys around one third of its oil and gas from Russia and has extensive trade and investment links with the population giant to the east. Nervous German industry lobbies have warned Chancellor Angela Merkel that sanctions against Russia could spark a trade war that would cost jobs and billions of euros. While Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has engaged in shuttle diplomacy and preached dialogue, critics say the good-cop approach is seen as weakness by the Kremlin. "Germany is the main brake on a tougher stance toward Russia," said Stefan Meister of think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations. "What we see at the moment is the limits of German influence on Russia, the limits of the collaborative approach that Germany has maintained for many years." Merkel, who grew up in the communist East Germany and speaks Russian, has made repeated phone calls to Russia's Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who speaks German. The German chancellor, who has known Putin longer than any other Western leader, has harshly criticised Russia for sabre-rattling and violating international law in Ukraine's Crimea region. But when it comes to hurting Russia with stinging sanctions, as proposed by Washington and some EU partners, Germany has backed off and urged caution. Berlin also appeared hesitant to pull out of advance talks for the Russia-hosted G8 summit in June and opposed kicking Russia out of the big-powers club altogether. Keeping open the channels of communication, Merkel's vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel met Putin Thursday for closed-door talks that German officials explained were scheduled weeks ago. - Kremlin 'sees dialogue as weakness' - Meister said the "partnership approach" of seeking to engage and gently nudge Russia towards liberal democracy had failed because "the Putin system is immune to it". "It has no interest in political change. The search for compromise is seen as a sign of weakness by Russia." Meister stressed that Germany's complicated Russia policy is also subject to "massive pressure from the business side". Germany's industrial lobby warned this week that punishing Moscow could spark retaliation that would hurt Europe just as it slowly emerges from a years-long downturn. "Threats are damaging to all sides," cautioned the Eastern Committee of German Business, warning that more than 6,000 German companies do business in Russia and that 300,000 German jobs rely on links with the country. "If a spiral of mutual economic sanctions kicks off now it will threaten to severely damage the European economy," said the group's chairman Eckhard Cordes. German economic titans including car maker VW and retail chain Metro are heavily invested in Russia. Two-way trade topped 76 billion euros ($104 billion) last year. - 'Massive economic fallout' - Some observers argue Germany should take a more assertive stance, that the economic danger is overstated and that Russia has far more to lose than Europe. "German-Russian trade constitutes about four percent of Germany's overall trade portfolio ... less than between Germany and Poland," said Joerg Forbrig of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. "We're making an elephant out of a trade partner that is one of many and that is by no means the most important one for our economy. "This is used to justify that Germany cannot steer a harsher line, perhaps even impose economic sanctions on Russia, because there would be massive fallout on the German economy. That simply is not warranted." He pointed out that many Eastern European countries, despite vastly greater Russia trade links and energy dependency, "are willing to take a principled position, because they clearly see the threat". German politicians and diplomats, he said, remain broadly committed to the decades-old tradition of "Ostpolitik", of opening up to the Cold War-era Eastern Bloc. "To step out of this shadow of history is apparently very difficult for the German political class to accept," he said. "Germany is basically just not ready for what the Russians are proposing, which is confrontation."

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today russia trade ties weigh on germany in ukraine crisis Arab Today, arab today russia trade ties weigh on germany in ukraine crisis

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today russia trade ties weigh on germany in ukraine crisis Arab Today, arab today russia trade ties weigh on germany in ukraine crisis

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation
Arab Today, arab today Barcelona through George Orwell’s eyes

GMT 13:44 2017 Friday ,20 October

Barcelona through George Orwell’s eyes
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Tillerson heads to Gulf, downbeat

GMT 09:23 2017 Friday ,20 October

Tillerson heads to Gulf, downbeat
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today World's deepest lake in peril

GMT 15:54 2017 Friday ,20 October

World's deepest lake in peril
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'

GMT 16:07 2017 Friday ,20 October

Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Sweden to get biggest car factory

GMT 14:10 2017 Friday ,20 October

Sweden to get biggest car factory
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification

GMT 08:57 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 06:43 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Fake dentists ply brisk trade

GMT 06:49 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday