In the wake of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 being blown out of the skies over Ukraine by an anti-aircraft missile, the European Union Commission is weighing stronger sanctions against Russia, which has been supportive of the pro-Russian separatists believed to be responsible for the tragedy.
Yet some of the sanctions being considered would hit a number of German companies hard, prompting debate about the role of German industry in punishing Russia for its actions.
There is no question the situation surrounding the shooting down of the commercial airliner has been horrific. The actions of the separatists, particularly in the aftermath of the crash when they spirited away bodies and tampered with the wreckage, has generated outrage across the globe. The desire to strike back at Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, is understandably strong.
But the urge to act on anger and dismay can lead to poor decisions, not only among politicians, but also for company leaders and association representatives, who have a responsiblity to their employees, their companies and to the good of society itself. They need to take a rational course of action free of emotional baggage.
There are some who oppose a toughening of sanctions against Russia because of business considerations, while others see additional sanctions as an absolute necessity to counter the breach of international law, massive violations of human rights and the descent of eastern Ukraine into anarchy. It is an expression of our pluralistic nation to debate these controversial issues.