“We do not want them: we know that we are bringing harm to ourselves, and I have listened to enough businessmen who are telling me this every day. The sooner we are out of sanctions, the better,” said Gernot Erler , Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership.
Erler said however, the representatives of German industries have acknowledged the politics should prevail over economic interests. “This issue is so serious that economic interests should be put on the back burner,” he said
Lifting sanctions will primarily depend on the political decisions taken in Moscow, the diplomat stressed.
“If Russia is in fact step by step actively seeking to comply with the agreements it signed, there will be no new sanctions,” he said, adding that “there are all the grounds to change the situation.”
“Now real steps should be taken. In this case, I am sure the sanctions can be suspended and lifted,” Erler told the newspaper.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes that Russia and Germany will continue further bilateral cooperation aimed at ensuring stability and security in Europe.
Putin said he expects that Moscow and Berlin will be able to boost ties with the goal of “maintaining stability and security on the European continent and in the whole world.”
Last year, Germany, Russia’s most important trade partner in Europe, exported about 36 billion euros of goods to Russia. In the first half of this year, Germany’s exports to Russia plunged over 15%, before Russia’s agricultural ban imposed in early August amid Western sanctions.