News / Europe

Germany Warns Russia of 'Massive Damage' Over Crimea

Germany Warns of 'Massive Damage' to Russia Over Crimea Crisisi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Henry Ridgwell
March 14, 2014 9:19 PM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Moscow that Europe could inflict 'massive economic,' political damage' to Russia if situation escalates in Ukrainian region of Crimea. Crimeans vote Sunday in a referendum on leaving Ukraine. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Germany Warns of 'Massive Damage' to Russia Over Crimea Crisis

Henry Ridgwell
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Moscow that Europe could inflict 'massive economic and political damage' to Russia if the situation in the Ukrainian region of Crimea escalates.

Germany now appears willing to use its diplomatic and economic muscle to turn up the heat on Moscow, analysts say. And they add that Merkel, a fluent Russian speaker, has been Europe's prime interlocutor with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Addressing lawmakers in Germany's parliament this week, Merkel issued the strongest threat yet to Moscow.

"If Russia continues on its course of the past weeks, it will not only be a catastrophe for Ukraine,” she said Thursday. “We would see it, as neighbors of Russia, as a threat. And it would not only change the European Union's relationship with Russia. No, this would also cause massive damage to Russia, economically and politically."

Merkel ruled out any military action. She dismissed Russia's claims that Crimea's bid to break away from Ukraine could be compared to Kosovo's independence from Serbia. Crimeans are set for a referendum on Sunday to decide to possibly join Russia.

"One thing has to be completely clear: The territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be put in question," Merkel said.

Merkel's hardline stance marks a departure from her previously cautious approach to Russia, said Professor Alan Riley, an expert on EU-Russia relations at City University in London.

"What we're seeing is a grave Western concern that President Putin may be willing to go a lot further,” she said. “Would we have some form of Afghanistan-style guerilla war in Europe, in the middle of the continent?"

At stake for Berlin are deep economic and trade links with Moscow. Russia says it would retaliate to any sanctions. Germany gets 40 percent of its gas from Russia. But Europe could quickly reduce that dependence and deprive Moscow of revenue, Riley said.

"Two-thirds of (Russian gas firm) Gazprom's revenue comes from the one-third of gas it produces that it sells into the European Union,” he said. “That's about 10 percent of federal tax revenue. If you cut off the lifelines of those large state companies or state-influenced companies from the Western capital markets, that would have an impact."

Putin will be gambling that the threats from Chancellor Merkel are just rhetoric, said risk analyst Elizabeth Stephens of insurance brokers Jardine Lloyd Thompson in London.

"If we go back to 2008 when Russia was involved with the war in Georgia, the West issued strong condemnation,” she said. “The following year the Americans announced a reset in relations with Russia, everything was supposed to move forward on a positive footing. So I think Putin can rest assured any sanctions that will be imposed will be very weak."

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George
March 16, 2014 2:18 AM
Yes it would be interesting to hear the stance on Syria where so many people have lost their lives, bearing in mind Russian support of the Syrian government has been very strong. Germany needs to be more forthright on condemnation of what has happened there and continues to happen on a daily basis.


by: Sweetbird from: United States
March 15, 2014 2:34 AM
Shame on Angela Merkel and Germany for listening to her. She's a traitor for going against Russia and putting all German businesses at risk losing Billions of $ she has no clues what she's doing. The German senate should go against her. Germany after WWII was punish by the west and now Germany wants to punish Russia. Merkel has no rights at all.


by: Robert from: Prague
March 15, 2014 12:55 AM
Putin is out of control. Tomorrow he can head his tanks to EU borders. Don't buy Russian gas!


by: Anonymous
March 14, 2014 3:53 PM
Putin needs an economic slap on all levels. He knew what he was doing when he sent thousands of troops and gunship helicopters to a place he had no business going and drawing a line in the sand of sand that does not belong to him.

All these threats to Russia are nothing, action must be taken to send Putin a stern warning that the world will not tolerate his irresponsible actions, and he best not try them in the future either.

This will send a strong message to the Russian people to get Putin the hell out of office. The Russian people should be fully aware of the path that "Putin" is taking Russia, somewhere Russian people DO NOT want to go...

He should be ousted by Russian people for his provocative acts, and besides that he should be investigated for his part in the Syrian Crisis, Chechnya, and Moscow Siege.

I think any International court would find him guilty. His crazy acts will get him nowhere but in to trouble.


by: Mike Simms from: Toronto
March 14, 2014 3:08 PM
How can you simply "dismiss" claims that Crimea breaking off from Ukraine is any different than Kosovo from Serbia? Isn't International Law supposed to be followed by everyone? Do the Western supporters simply get to pick and choose which laws will be followed and which countries can have territorial integrity? The last time I checked, Serbia was sovereign UN nation that wanted it's territorial integrity respected as well. Now there's a huge US army base in Kosovo. Based on that alone, I say good for Putin!

In Response

by: Gerald Lane Summers from: California
March 18, 2014 1:06 PM
The Kosovo War started in 1996 and ended with the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia; NATO had intervened to prevent widespread human rights abuses by Serb forces. Slobodan Milošević was overthrown in 2000. The U.S. did not invade these countries; NATO acted to stop the genocide with US support.

In Response

by: olga from: russia
March 14, 2014 8:17 PM
cant agree more! also good for Putin

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid