Ukraine Conflict

After Seeking Middle Ground, German Businesses Join Push for Harder Russia Sanctions

russian seperatists guarding crash site
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region on July 20, 2014.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany, given its location in the middle of Europe, has historically tried to balance competing interests in the region.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The German business council drops its opposition to harsher sanctions after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane.
    • The group, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, supports German business interests in the region.
    • On Thursday, the European Union expanded its sanctions to a broader group of people and businesses in Russia.
  • Audio

    Audio

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German businesses are losing patience with Russia and no longer oppose sanctions, according to Eckhard Cordes who chairs the Committee on East European Economic Relations.

The committee supports German business interests in Russia and in the region. It consists of 200 firms from Germany which are active in Eastern Europe.

“If the German government and the E.U. impose sanctions, we will back them 100 percent,” Mr. Cordes told the Handelsblatt.

He emphasized that the situation has fundamentally changed since the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane in Eastern Ukraine killing almost 300 people. He called the response to the catastrophe “inhumane.”

“Mr. Putin needs to exert his influence on the separatists and if he doesn’t have any influence, then he needs to get it,” Mr. Cordes said.

 

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