Former German Chancellor Called Anti-Russian Sanctions Meaningless
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU after Russia's reunification with Crimea and stressed that cooperation with Russia is especially necessary for the economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with Tagesspiegel, Schroeder said, speaking about the WWII, that "the fact that Russia is ready, despite the terrible past, to interact with the new Germany in a spirit of trust, can not be overestimated."
"The fact that we support sanctions against Russia goes against this. First, they evoke historical memories in Russia, and second, they do not change Russian politics. At a time when the coronavirus crisis is facing difficult economic times, more cooperation is needed. Therefore, senseless sanctions should be lifted," Schroeder said in an interview with the German newspaper.
"Anyone who believes that Russia can be forced to do anything through sanctions is mistaken. No Russian President will ever give Crimea to Ukraine. This is reality," the former German Chancellor said.
Speaking about the situation in the East of Ukraine, Schroeder noted that "peaceful coexistence will only happen if Ukraine becomes a Federal state, in which the East of the country will get more autonomy."
Relations between Russia and Western countries have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia after the referendum on the Peninsula. The West, accusing Russia of meddling, imposed sanctions against it. Moscow took retaliatory measures, took a course on import substitution, and called the language of sanctions unproductive.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and a subject of the Minsk agreements on the settlement. Recently, opinions on the need to lift sanctions have become clearer in the EU countries.