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German Russian Economic Association Unchanged Sanction Extension Sends the Wrong Signal

Overbeck: " Big Opportunity Lost!"

The unanimous and unchanged extension of the EU sanctions against Russia until 01/31/2017 imposed through the European Council was criticized by the German-Russian Economic Association: "In recent weeks, a change in the European course towards Russia would have been introduced," said association president Thomas Overbeck, "the pragmatic proposal of a gradual drop of sanctions by the Vice-Chancellor and Federal Foreign Minister is right. Although the ruble economically stronger - the EU has missed a great opportunity. The market could have taken the signal to step up to a more positive outcome. "

For the first time since 2014, Commissioner President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Günther Oettinger senior EU representative traveled to the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg where Juncker spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "St. Petersburg was an encouraging signal for German SMEs, "said Overbeck," is all the more unsatisfactory that this visit did not even result in a minimum price correction. "

The full implementation of the Minsk process after the complete lifting of sanctions is an unrealistic hurdle for Overbeck: "The policy of small steps in complex cases is the right way and usually the way of the Chancellor. Right here it would be appropriate to take advantage of German medium-sized business in Russia. That Hungary, Italy or France can ultimately win again in a unanimous decision is disappointing " as Overbeck announced further talks in Brussels ". Since communication is so important, we’ll travel with German SMEs next week to the European Union. Policy-makers need information on the Russia-experience of SMEs. That is the only way to create more understanding. "

Overbeck also belives is the right step regarding the announced trip next Monday trip with Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel traveling to Moscow: "One does not only has to approve of a dialogue, but has to carry out one”

The German-Russian Economic Alliance e.V. represents the interests of SMEs and is committed to maintaining the perspective of Russia as a strategic market for the future and against the erosion of trust in bilateral trade. The association has its headquarters in Hamburg directed annually from the German-Russian SME Day. For the travel to Brussels, a German-Russian SME Report has been published, touching on 25 medium-sized business in Russia.

Source: Deutsch-Russischer Wirtschaftsbund

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