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New economic sanctions on Russia may worsen Ukraine crisis, German expert says

January 31, 2015, 1:21 UTC+3 BERLIN
The German expert said that the current anti-Russian sanctions had a number of shortcomings because they were being applied by part of the globe, namely the European Union and the United States
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BERLIN, January 30 /TASS/. Eckhard Cordes, president of Committee for Eastern European Economic Relations, warns against imposing new sanctions on Russia and calls for keeping channels for dialogue with Moscow open in an interview with the German magazine Spiegel. Spiegel’s electronic version published the extracts of his interview on Friday.

"We do not know what other sanctions are going to follow," Cordes said doubting that new penalties were unlikely to force Moscow to change its stance.

"I am afraid that they (sanctions) can even be counterproductive and aggravate the conflict," the expert said adding that most of his German colleagues agreed with him.

"We have interviewed representatives of 150 major German companies that actively operate in Russia. Most of them do not think that the economic sanctions can help reaching the assigned goal," Cordes said noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin was still enjoying a huge level of popular support.

The German expert said that the current anti-Russian sanctions had a number of shortcomings because they were being applied by part of the globe, namely the European Union and the United States.

"Other major economic blocs such as Brazil, China and South Korea did not join those sanctions. Third, reciprocal economic sanctions are causing damage to Ukraine, which needs the markets of both of the European Union and Russia. But it’s exactly Ukraine that we want to stabilize," Eckhard Cordes stressed.

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