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‘Broader economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine would hit EU as well’

Published time: March 07, 2014 08:41

Ukranian pro-russian protesters demonstrate outside the air base in Belbek, not far from Sevastopol on March 6, 2014. (AFP Photo)

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Sanctions against Russia could be bad for the weak economies in the periphery of the eurozone. Many EU states also have strong connections with Russia, while Russia needs EU money to stabilize its budget, German MP Philipp Missfelder told RT.

RT: First of all, what type of sanctions against Russia are we talking about?

Philipp Missfelder: So far as I heard it is about visa restrictions for people of the Russian elite, but personally I have to say, I think the dialogue is much better than sanctions because finally, if we would talk about broader economic sanctions, it would hit the European economy very strong and very hard. And I believe it would be bad for both sides.

RT: If those sanctions could backfire and what sort of effect they would have then?

PM: I think the [fallout] of these economic sanctions would be that it could hurt weak economies in the periphery of the eurozone, for example, and another point is that we have strong connection between Germany and the Russian Federation when it comes to the export of gas, and we need Russian gas on the one side. On the other side, Russia needs our money to stabilize the Russian budget, and therefore the political and diplomatic solution should be much better than trying to threaten each other.

RT: London is already not willing to curb trade with Russia or stop financial operations. Given that, do you think the UK will try to block any restrictions?

PM: I don’t think that this kind of sanction would work. The problem right now is that there is a kind of hysterical reaction on both sides so far as I follow the Russian media and so far I follow the Western media. We see that today in the last few hours there is some kind of new escalation, which is not good, because it seemed in the last days that after the interview of the President Putin and after the words of President Obama the situation is calming down a little bit, but it is not the fact.

What I would prefer is a common agreement among Russia and the Western world that we can slow down the situation, can calm it down and again, once if sanctions are started, the situation will escalate more and the dialogue will stop. That would be the worst outcome we can imagine.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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