German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Europe no longer supports sanctions against Russia

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Resistance against the extension of sanctions against Russia increasing among EU Member States said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview with Tagesspiegel - Europe has become so divided on the issue that now, it is impossible to reach a common understanding on sanctions.

The German foreign minister talked about sanctions against Russia last Sunday in an interview with Tagesspiegel; there is an increasing number of European countries that criticize the sanctions, because the economic damage they cause is getting more apparent to everyone. Some countries demand the lifting of all sanctions against Russia openly, others do it behind the scenes. "We can see that in the European Union greatly increased the number of those countries that disagree with sanctions compared to last year; today, it would be extremely difficult to reach a common understanding on the issue"

The West often forgets that it is in its very best interest to actively cooperate with Russia because Moscow is not only an economic partner, but also helps Europe tackling international challenges. We need Russia to overcome several major international crisis; this help is already available in Syria - but I think Russia could help stabilize the Libyan situation as well, said the German foreign minister.

There are numerous signs that fundamental changes are under way in Germany's foreign policy. The foreign minister said last April that the stabilization of the Ukrainian economy should be decided on by trilateral talks - the European Union, Russia and Ukraine (without the involvement of the United States of America).

In March, the German foreign minister visited Moscow, where he discussed the Syrian and Ukrainian situation and the fight against terrorism. He also raised the possibility of Russia’s involvement in the preservation of European security as part of a new international arrangement.

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