They have rather achieved the opposite and increased the popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The EU’s restrictive measures against the Crimea are also described by the party in the motion as “counterproductive”. Their economic isolation from the West would “cement” the peninsula’s “factual affiliation” with Russia. In contrast, the party believes that a “constructive approach” would be “the intensification of trade relations with Russia”.
More importantly, the sanctions have had a negative impact on the German economy in particular. “Estimates assume that the EU sanctions against Russia and the resulting counter-sanctions have inflicted billions of dollars worth of damage on the German economy and cost tens of thousands of jobs,” the party complained.
Politically too, immense damage had been caused by the anti-Russian measures. Despite German-Russian relations burdened by the “National Socialist war of aggression,” Germany enjoyed a high reputation in Russia, which had, however, suffered in recent years due to the sanctions policy of the Federal Government. “It’s all the more important to focus on cooperation instead of confrontation.”
Two years ago, a study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy had come to the conclusion that sanctions against Moscow have hurt Germany more than other countries. In terms of percentage, Germany saw “nearly 40 percent of lost trade, while other large geopolitical players such as the United Kingdom (7,9 percent), France (4,1 percent) and the United States (0,6 percent) are far less affected,” it noted in the study.
Following Russia’s referendum on Crimea, 37 countries, including all EU Member States and the US, imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation in March 2014. They were further tightened in the course of 2014. Since then, strict financial sanctions have been in place against a number of Russian banks and industrial groups.