German finance analyst: Europe picks up the check for the anti-Russian sanctions, while US-Russia trade is picking up


Folker Hellmeyer,
interviewed by Sputniknews-Korrespondent Bolle Selke, June 2, 2015

June 18, 2015
Translated by Tom Winter

Folker Hellmeyer, chief analyst at Bremer Landesbank, counts it “very irritating” that the US-Russian trade exchange has gone up almost 6 per cent while the EU’s trade with Russia dropped 10 per cent in the time since the sanctions were imposed.

“Over the last year we have seen, the sanction outcomes for the EU and for the United States have obviously and completely diverged,” he said in an interview with Bolle Selke. “I see it once more a proof that the United States are very good at setting the rules, but not necessarily so good at sticking to the rules. We also know out of previous sanction policies where the US has avoided such penalties, and it went regularly to the detriment of competing countries in these markets.
“So it makes me very skeptical of the policy implementation that we in the in the EU are maintaining bout sanctions. That should be a warning shot about policy in Brussels, in Berlin, in Paris, in Vienna, in Helsinki, to elicit right now what is the background and maybe even check out the background. “

“I said last year in March in an interview that we, in Europe, in Germany, will pay the bill for this policy, and that’s what happened,” said the analyst. “We see that the countries that a strong exposure exports to Eastern Europe, to Russia have, have come economically under the wheels. This is particularly true for smaller countries, like Finland, like Austria, for example. We also see striking consequences for Germany. We had collapse in exports last year by 18 percent and in the first two months of this year by 34 percent. The German mechanical engineering sector has experienced a decline in exports by 28 percent in the first quarter. What this means is, we are losing significant business.

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Even as a purely political matter the sanction policy is rather questionable, says Hellmeyer. “In the history of sanctions there is very clear evidence that sanctions generally do not lead to the intended objectives. In this respect, I consider this sanctions policy completely misguided. Errant also for the reason, because the foundations of the sanctions were the constantly repeated accusations that were then not necessarily verified at a later stage. “

Translator’s note:
Behind closed doors in Europe, much is said bluntly. Two items here, the call for inquiring into the background of the sanctions, and particularly the openness of the last sentence, are remarkable. “Constantly repeated accusations … not verified(!)” 

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