Germany, European Parliament and the Sanction Policy towards Russia

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-12-62-68

F. Basov, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The FRG is one of the most important apologists of sanction policy towards Russia within the European Union. This fact was a painful surprise for the Russian political elite. This article is dedicated to investigation of the following questions. Why does German government uphold the sanction policy? Why was the lobbying of the German business weaker than positions of the human-rights-wing in Germany's politics? Is German business lobby really for the “business as usual” policy towards Russia? What is the difference between Germany's stance on human rights and political development in Russia and China? Why should not Russian decision makers stake only on economy, military power and others categories of the political realism in their relations with the West? How may the ideological and essential basis of various German political parties change? A personality factor and distrust to the Russian political elite on the part of the German establishment is essential to the sanction policy. Many Russian political observers underestimate the role of values in politics. However, values and prestige as political factors were the key reasons for initiating of the sanction policy. And the significance of values will gradually grow in German political life. Russia's policy towards Ukraine contradicts the principle of multilateralism, which is one of the most important reference points for Germany. The support of the European unity and coordinated interaction between political parties in Germany smooths party differences in relation to the policy towards Russia. But each political power in the FRG has its own original views towards Russia and sanctions. These differences are investigated in full in this article. As shown in sociological researches, the German society is not concerned about the sanction war with Russia. The initiative of sanctions had no goal to transform the political situation in Russia and was only a demonstration of Germany's and the EU position in the Ukrainian crisis. But at the same time, EU-sanctions against Russia were directed on Russian political and economical elite. The factor of values will be more significant in German policy towards Russia than pragmatism. The party system of the EU is similar to that of FRG (a 2.5-party system). Like in Bundestag, those parties which are opposed to sanctions are small and marginalized in the European Parliament as well. The sanctions revocation is connected with negotiations for Donbass.

Keywords: Germany, European Union, European Parliament, Russia, sanctions, political parties 


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For citation:
Basov F. Germany, European Parliament and the Sanction Policy towards Russia. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 12, pp. 62-68.

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