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German Business Calls Russia Key Partner Despite Sanctions

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Despite the sanctions, Russia is still key partner for German businesses, Michael Harms, Chairman of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, said Thursday.

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Despite the sanctions, Russia is still key partner for German businesses, Michael Harms, Chairman of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, said Thursday.

"Unfortunately, the paradigm of our cooperation has changed significantly. At the beginning of the year I was working on the framework of a new Germany- Russia Partnership for Modernization, and today we have to speak about the impact of sanctions. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize that from the perspective of the German business, Russia remains its strategic economic partner," Harms noted at the news conference presenting the results of the poll on the impact of sanctions.

According to the survey conducted by the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce revealed Tuesday, most German companies operating in Russia believe that economic sanctions against Moscow are not proving effective. Almost 80 percent of the polled enterprises believe that economic sanctions are counterproductive and not conducive for political objectives. One third of the respondents agree that sanctions still need to be introduced. Two thirds, on the contrary, think that the sanctions are not necessary. The respondents said the sanctions will lead to further deterioration of the economic environment. Some 71 percent of enterprises expect economic slowdown by the end of the year.

Moreover, German medium-size businesses warned September 9 that European sanctions against Russia could cost them precious market share to companies in Asia. "China is the distinct beneficiary of Europe's sanctions policy toward Russia," The Wall Street Journal reported Rainer Seele, president of the German-Russian Foreign Chamber of Commerce, as saying Tuesday. He explained that sanctions were threatening long-standing economic ties between Germany and Russia.

Relations between Russia and the West have been marred with the development of political crisis in Ukraine. The US, the EU other countries have already imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia accusing Moscow of assisting independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the conflict.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced counter-measures, banning the import of agricultural and food products from Australia, Canada, the United States, the European Union and Norway for a year.

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sanctions, partner, German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Michael Harms
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