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    EU Can Afford Anti-Russia Sanctions If Economy is Strong - German Minister

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    Maintaining the EU economic sanctions against Russia will depend on the overall economic strength of the Union, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said at a Brookings Institution conference in Washington, DC on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The German finance minister characterized the current EU relations to Russia as having “the features of a new systemic conflict.”

    “European sanctions are definitely having an impact on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s Russia, but we can afford these sanctions only because, and as long as we have a strong economy.”

    Following the 2014 Crimea vote to reunite with the Russian Federation, Germany led the European Union in applying economic sanctions against Russia, leading to a decline in German exports to Russia.

    “The long term conflict [with Russia] will be decided only on the basis of economic strength,” Schaeuble said.

    The European Union economy is in the process of recovering, Schaeuble argued, noting slight improvements in GDP growth and in the implementation of structural reforms. He also said unemployment in the EU had declined.

    Schaeuble acknowledged the ongoing problems affecting many EU member states whose debt to GDP levels remain high.


    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)


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