EU, Russia Lost More Than $120bn Due to Sanctions

Losses accrued from economic sanctions by the European Union against Russia have exceeded 100 billion euros ($124.4 billion) since 2014, the Chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wolfgang Buechele has said.

“According to Kiel University’s research, the losses over mutual economic sanctions imposed in 2014 now exceed 100 billion euros. About 60 percent attributes to Russia, nearly 40 percent to the EU economy. So, the EU economy pays a heavy price for the conflict, the responsibility for which falls on politicians,” Buechele was quoted as saying by the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

German businesses in Russia expect that the diplomatic efforts on settlement of disagreements between the sides would be, eventually, determined, Buechele added.

On Tuesday, the United States published the so-called ‘Putin list’ of more than 200 politicians and businessmen with ties to the Russian president. The list included powerful or wealthy Russians who were not already on U.S. or EU blacklists over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or what the U.S. Treasury called other “malign activities”.

According to EUobserver, as Washington published the list, a debate about further sanctions against Russia was also beginning, more quietly, in the EU.

“We take note of the report issued by the U.S. Treasury,” said the EU Foreign Service, which is in charge of proposing alternative names when the EU next reopens its blacklist in February.

“That said, all of the EU’s sanctions regimes remain under constant review,” the EU spokesperson noted, adding that the U.S. document “states explicitly that it is not a sanctions list.”

A senior U.S. diplomat, Kurt Volker, recently said in the EU capital that Europe should keep the treasury list in mind in “adding to the cost that Russia faces” for Ukraine.

Linas Linkevicius, the Lithuanian foreign minister, said U.S.-type measures against Russian oligarchs were the most effective way of putting pressure on Putin. The U.S. list prompted Russia activists in Europe to add their input.

“I’m convinced that the issue of defining the specific boundaries of the Kremlin criminal group [via the US list] is extremely important,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian former oligarch who lives in exile in the UK, told EUobserver.

Khodorkovsky, who now runs an anti-Putin movement, said that being included in a fresh U.S. and EU sanctions review could prompt some Putin loyalists to rethink their position.

“People should realise their personal responsibility for what is happening [in Russia] and decide on which side of the barricade they are on,” Khodorkovsky said.