German Engineering Chief Calls for 'Loosening' Russia Sanctions

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the photo bankThe Moscow Kremlin. Vodovzvodnaya Tower, foreground. Background, right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower and Cathedral of the Archangel.
The Moscow Kremlin. Vodovzvodnaya Tower, foreground. Background, right: the Grand Kremlin Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower and Cathedral of the Archangel. - Sputnik International
The head of the German VDMA engineering association has expressed hopes that exports between Russia and Germany will be restored, while sanctions should be "critically scrutinized" and partly lifted.

Carl Martin Welcker, Germany's VDMA president, is confident that the West should change its political strategy toward Russia and reconsider its restrictive measures against Moscow.

"Economic sanctions have little political impact. In this respect, we want them to be critically scrutinized. The things that work should be upheld and others should be loosened if possible," he added, Carl Martin Welcker, Germany's VDMA president, said in an interview with Reuters.

Although exports by German engineering companies to Russia increased by 22.5 percent, to 5.3 billion euro in 2017, the progress was still insufficient compared to 2012, when exports amounted to almost 8 billion euro.

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The businessman noted that the Russian economy has shown positive developments over the last few years.

Prior to the grand opening ceremony of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the German town of Lubmin. - Sputnik International
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Russia has already found other partners from South Korea and China, but the expert believes that German businesses could still get back their market share and expressed hopes for a complete recovery of the fruitful partnership between the two countries.

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.

The political crisis escalated recently, when Germany joined the United States and other European countries in imposing sanctions on Russia over the Skripal case, which Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in.

READ MORE: AHK: Germany Faces Billions of Losses Over New US Sanctions

On Friday, the United States unveiled new sanctions against Russia over Moscow's alleged global destabilization efforts. Among the individuals and entities affected by the US sanctions were several Russian businessmen and companies controlled by them, as well as a number of high-ranking Russian officials.

According to the Russian-German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK), the new US sanctions against Russia could cost the German economy several billion euros in the future.

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