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German expert says time to consider alternatives to anti-Russian sanctions

The chairman of Germany's Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations notes Germany lost about €13.5 bln due to mutual sanctions

BERLIN, November 21. /TASS/. The time has come for the West to review its sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, Chairman of Germany's Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buechele noted in an article published by the Handelsblatt e-paper on Monday.

"Maybe politicians saw no alternative to sanctions two years ago but the time has come to reconsider this position," he wrote.

Buechele pointed to the fact that sanctions had not caused any positive changes in eastern Ukraine but inflicted significant economic damage on the West as well as on Russia. According to the European Commission estimates, in 2014-2015, the EU lost around €90 bln.

"As for the EU countries, Poland and the Baltic states have suffered the most," Buechele said. At the same time, in 2014-2015, Germany lost about €13.5 bln due to mutual sanctions, he added. "In fact, there is no doubt that the total losses caused by the economic sanctions run into hundreds of millions of euros," the German experts wrote. According to him, Russia’s neighboring countries, particularly Belarus and Kazakhstan, have also been facing negative consequences of sanctions.

"What do we gain and what do we lose when we consider sanctions the best way to solve all problems? It would be better if political crises would be solved through political means," Wolfgang Buechele concluded.