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Author: Thomas Elmar Schuppe
Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
At present, the burning concern driving forward reflection on the crisis in Ukraine revolves around solving the somewhat deadlocked situation between the revived 'Cold War' frontlines of the West (nowadays geographically and politically enlarged) and the East (smaller today and concentrated more than ever on Russia). And not to forget, of course, the dramatic internal political situation facing the sovereign state of Ukraine.
How should the world react; what can and should the Western world do in reaction to Russia's annexation of Crimea, which has been widely condemned as a harsh infringement of international law? While military action has been broadly ruled out, the foremost goal should be to bring all engaged parties back to the table and to try and find a diplomatic solution. However, to increase the pressure some sanctions have already been imposed, a tightening and escalation towards more severe economic sanctions is in the pipeline: Indeed, one of the options is to hit one of Russia's most crucial economic lifelines: gas and oil exports.
To bring the scope of economic sanctions more into focus, this paper seeks to highlight some crucial information and data by spotlighting the current foreign trade relations of Russia with Europe and Germany(representative as Europe's largest and most important economy),respectively, as well as investigating the impact of a probable reduction of natural gas supply from Russia. The US, in all likelihood, will enhance economic pressure on Russia; however, since the economic interrelations between these two countries are not that far-reaching, it is generally expected that the Americans will be swayed by EU's actions. This is contestable because, so far, Europe has very reluctantly followed the US. In fact, the new round of sanctions by Europe were announced several days after the US.