In a move that can further harm Russia-EU bilateral ties, some European officials are threatening Russia with new punitive measures over jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
RT Deutsch spoke to German entrepreneur and CEO of cold store construction company Plattenhardt + Wirth, Ingolf Mayer, to discuss the possible impact of new sanctions, should these be implemented.
According to the businessman, years of anti-Russian sanctions have done a lot of harm and are just an example of how political issues can negatively affect an economy. Moreover, he warned that the US wants to prevent Moscow and Berlin from joining forces.
“Sanctions have existed for five years, and they have led nowhere,” Mayer pointed out. “We have to reel everything back.”
He added that Washington is aware that Europe needs Russian raw materials, for example, for switching to alternative energy, and the US wants to impede this partnership and distort competition.
Mayer says that the differences between the EU and Russia can be settled with talks, and is calling for the lifting of bilateral sanctions.
Brussels initially introduced sanctions targeting Russia’s energy, financial and arms sectors in 2014, over events relating to Ukraine, and has repeatedly extended and expanded these measures since then. In December, the EU extended them for another six months, formally prolonging them until July. Those EU measures were met with counter-sanctions from Moscow, with Russia banning imports of a number of European goods.
Talks about toughening the EU’s stance on Russia have intensified in recent weeks. Some European officials want Russia to release opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who was sentenced to jail for violating his probation earlier this month. However, the Russian authorities have repeatedly called the case a domestic issue, warning other nations against meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.
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