German chancellor says any sanctions against Russia will affect Germany’s economy
The imposition of any sanctions against Russia will certainly affect the German economy, the country’s leader Olaf Scholz told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published on Jan. 23.
“No one should entertain illusions that there are some measures that will not have consequences for us,” Chancellor Scholz said.
At the same time, Scholz said it was necessary to act “proportionately” if there is Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“It will be necessary to take such measures that will have the greatest effect on those who violate our principles,” he said.
“I’ve formulated clear words, they are relevant. And what is relevant is that we, the Europeans, have agreed with the U.S. government, namely – that Russia, in the event of military aggression against Ukraine, will have to pay a high price.”
Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October. The buildup follows a similar such massing of troops conducted in the spring of 2021.
As of early December, about 100,000 Russian soldiers were deployed near the Russian-Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donbas, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in Ukraine’s parliament on Dec. 3.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 175,000 Russian soldiers.
Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”
The proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.
Reznikov said Russian aggression towards Ukraine could intensify in late January 2022.
On Jan. 14, the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper and the U.S.-based CNN news channel reported that Russia had positioned covert operatives in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to use as a pretext for a Russian attack.
While Russia has denied plans to invade, it has also refused to provide assurances that it would not do so, instead demanding that it be provided with “security guarantees” by the United States and NATO.
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