MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - New sanctions from the United States and the European Union are likely following allegations that Russia has imposed itself in the Ukrainian conflict, former German Economics and Technology Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told RIA Novosti on Monday.
"I am sure further sanctions will follow both from the US and eventually from the European Union as well," Guttenberg said when asked about recent threats made by US politicians of new sanctions against Russia. “Whether these [sanctions] will have any immediate political impact is still questionable.”
Despite some speculation that Germany would be an unwilling party to deeper sanctions, Guttenberg, who served in the Bundestag in 2002-2011, says Germany is willing to shoulder the economic losses.
“Most EU member states, and especially Germany, are obviously willing to accept negative economic repercussions connected to further sanctions,” Guttenberg told RIA Novosti in an email correspondence. “Even business associations that are closely linked to Russia (e.g. Ostausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft) have clearly accepted these consequences.”
The threat of deeper sanctions was raised over the weekend by a number of US congressmen reacting to what the White House deemed an “incursion” by Russian forces into eastern Ukraine. Senator John McCain and Representatives Adam Smith of Washington and Peter King of New York all endorsed punitive sanctions on Russia in public remarks over the weekend.
Russian government officials have denied the claims that they have taken part in an invasion of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called for a political settlement and an end to the violence from both sides of the conflict in Ukraine’s east.
While Guttenberg believes that further sanctions will be forthcoming, he lamented the loss of relations between Russia and Europe. “It is a true tragedy for everyone involved. An EU-Russia relationship that is based on partnership, even friendship and trust is most desirable, but regrettably we are far from it at this point.”