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German foreign minister disappointed by weak effect of Russia sanctions

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 24, 2023 10:02 AM 2 min read
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gives a press conference alongside the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, on Aug. 22, 2023. (Photo credit: Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine are not effective enough, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Aug. 24.

"In general, economic sanctions should have an economic effect. However, this is not the case," DW wrote, quoting Baerbock in the book by journalist Stephan Lamby "Ernstfall: Regieren in Zeiten des Krieges."

"We have learned that the war cannot be ended through rational solutions, rational measures agreed upon by civilized governments," she added, noting that the logic that works in democratic countries cannot be applied to autocratic regimes.

The outlet wrote that the Russian economy keeps growing despite the sanctions thanks to the "wartime economy" boost. However, such growth is not sustainable in the long term, DW reported, citing economy experts.

Following Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western countries and other partners have imposed extensive sanctions against Russia, hoping to cripple its economy and undermine arms production.

Earlier in August, the Russian ruble briefly broke through 100 to the U.S. dollar. Many countries have divested from Russian oil and gas, slashing Russia's export income to half its prewar levels.

In spite of that, Russia has doubled its 2023 military spending to over $100 billion, or a third of the state budget. Moscow has also learned to circumvent Western sanctions using third countries to maintain its arms production.

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