Europe Balances Russia Trade Ties and Sanctions

Europe balances between trade ties and sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a deal Tuesday to annex the Crimean Peninsula, which voted to break away from Ukraine . This has evoked strong reactions from both the U.S. and the European Union. EU has imposed sanctions on Russia and some individuals involved in the crisis. However, it is yet to take strong action on any high ranking official from Putin administration. Experts say, over the years both Russian and European economies have become extremely interdependent and these sanctions may have severe economic consequences on both sides.

Meanwhile, the Economy Ministry of Germany put a hold on a firm’s deal to deliver a field exercise simulator to the Russian military. In a statement on Wednesday, the government said the export by Rheinmetall AG of the simulator is “not justifiable in the current situation.” It says the auto parts and defense equipment company will tell officials when exports are scheduled so the German government can take the “necessary steps.” CCTV’s Sandra Gathmann reports from Brussels on European sanctions and how the countries are struggling to strike a balance between sanctions and their trade ties with Russia.

Follow Sandra Gathmann on Twitter: @SandraGathmann

CCTV’s Elaine Reyes interviews Jorge Benitez a specialist in NATO and Transatlantic relations for his take on Russia’s declaration on Crimea and the reaction of West to it.