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Lau, Jörg

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Die Zeit - Germany | 06/11/2014

Don't question sanctions against Russia

On her first day at work as EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini voiced doubts about the effectiveness of the EU's sanctions against Russia. The liberal weekly paper Die Zeit shows little understanding for this view: "Excuse me? We doubt the sanctions make sense but because we can't come up with a better idea we'll stick to them anyway for now? ... The goal was never to change Russian policy within a couple of months through sanctions. ... Firstly because they function more like ratings, signalling to investors and creditors that the country concerned is ruled by unreliable people. And secondly because they are the clearest expression of international disapproval. ... The EU does all it can to avoid sanctions. It is deeply attached to interdependence, growth and partnership. This is not a weakness: on the contrary, it's what makes the Union more attractive, and that in turn is what gives it such a strong hand when it does decide to cut its ties. But as long as it has a hard time recognising its own clout it can hardly expect others to do so."

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