© AFP 2019 / Tobias Schwarz/flags of the “Normandy four”. Archival photoSignals on the possible abolition of anti-Russian sanctions yet, but the summit, “Norman four” in Paris can contribute to the improvement of relations between Russia and Europe, told RIA Novosti the Minister of economy and energy the German Brandenburg jörg Steinbach.”With regard to the latter (of lifting sanctions), at the moment, unfortunately, I’m pessimistic. I don’t see convergence (in the position) nor on the part of Mr. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to Europe or Vice versa. What happened in Crimea is perceived and interpreted by the parties differently,” said Steinbach.
The Minister noted that the sanctions issue has two sides – ordinary people and companies which are experiencing their negative impact, and “big politics”, so the priority should be the settlement of differences between Russia and the EU.”Maybe with the new President of Ukraine, something will budge. But in the political sense, there is a need to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Minsk agreements,” Steinbach continued.In this connection, he drew attention to the upcoming summit of the “Normandy Quartet”, which will take place on 9 December in Paris.
“I really hope so (that the summit will contribute to the improvement of relations between Russia and the EU). I believe in the efficacy of dialogue, and we very long time talked with each other. I think that only when people talk to each other, it is possible to find constructive solutions, and this is what underlies the relations between people, for example, between (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and Putin. People say on a personal level differently than how they must do so at the official level. If you want to eliminate this difference, then you need to communicate, communicate and communicate again,” said the German politician.Answering the question about the effect of sanctions on the economy of Brandenburg, the Minister said that it was “primarily indirect”. “We have a relatively small foreign trade potential. Suffer the losses of those firms that have joint projects that sanctions do not have access to financing”, – said the Minister.He noted that there are examples when companies are losing up to 50% of the markets, but this happens rarely.