As we have mentioned many times before, the economic symbiosis between European industry and Russia cannot be downplayed lightly since each earns billions of dollars per year in their transfers of energy and goods. And going into the third year of U.S. imposed sanctions with Russia over the Kiev coup that Europe has summarily joined in with, the costs are continuing to climb to the point where businesses and politicians are now are extreme odds with one another on keeping these sanctions intact.
On March 21, Germany’s Chamber of Commerce for Russian-German trade spoke out against the continuation of ongoing sanctions, and cited annual losses of nearly $20 billion that are bringing serious harm to the German economy as Europe moves into a new recession.
German business exports to Russia decreased by 25 percent in 2015 and business representatives expect the dry spell to continue, German television channel Pro Sieben reported on Sunday, two years after the EU first imposed sanctions against Russia.
Michael Harms, Chairman of the Russian- German Chamber of Commerce, told German press agency dpa that the current frosty relationship between the Russian and German economies is being referred to in Germany as “hibernation,” but that both economies need to redouble their efforts to find new sources of growth.
The total value of trade between the two countries decreased from almost 53 billion euros ($60 billion) in 2014 to 41 billion euros in 2015, including an 18 billion euro decrease in German exports to Russia. – Sputnik News
Yet perhaps even more disturbing for Germany’s industry is the fact that with sanctions and counter-sanctions by Russia lasting so long now, the Eurasian power has shifted much of its former trade to new markets and new opportunities which will be hard pressed to return to Germany and other markets in Europe even after the sanctions are eventually lifted.
Europe has long been the collateral damage for U.S. foreign policy, with today’s terror attack in Belgium being a consequence of standing with Washington as an ally and contributor under NATO. And even though there is overwhelming proof that the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s duly elected leader back in late 2013 was done with the blessing and funding of the United States, until European nations as individuals or as a whole finally make their own decisions outside the hegemony of Washington, the economic warfare that is waged by the U.S. through its control over the global reserve currency will continue to harm the EU, and create more division with trading partners that rely heavily upon one another for revenues.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.