Majority of germans against new russia sanctions

Ukraine sold half of its gold reserves

According to a survey conducted by the infratest dimap polling institute on behalf of ard, only a minority of 19 percent of germans are in favor of new eu sanctions against russia. A relative majority of 43 percent consider the sanctions imposed so far to be sufficient. Another 27 percent call for the lifting of these sanctions, which are causing damage not only in russia but also in eu countries.

In politics, too, there are apparently doubts about the sense of further "penalties"after the new eu envoy federica mogherini openly questioned whether the export bans and restrictions on money market participation would lead to a change in russia’s policy without a "new start" of diplomatic dialogue would lead russia to change its ukraine policy, the supporters of a moderate line prevailed at the meeting of eu foreign ministers on monday against the representatives of the governments of great britain and poland, who wanted to freeze not only the accounts of separatist regional politicians from lugansk and donetsk, but also those of russians.

The supporters of the sanctions had pointed out in advance that the donetsk and lugansk regions, which are cut off from transfer payments from and economic relations with ukraine, receive support from russia. In an interview with the frankfurter allgemeine zeitung, donetsk’s head of administration, igor martinov, confirmed such aid: according to him, russia not only pays pensions and social benefits, but also finances public transport and schools. He says revenue from the region covers only about one-fifth of funding needs.

majority of germans against new russian sanctions

Gold bar: photo: license: public domain.

By blocking the payment of pensions and salaries, ukraine was not only allowed to pursue the goal of blocking its eastern territories, but also that of relieving the burden on its own state budget: the de facto bankrupt country has still not paid off its considerable debts from russian natural gas deliveries despite massive financial aid from the eu and, according to figures from the international monetary fund (imf), sold 14 of its 26 tons of gold reserves last month alone. Previously, attempts had been made to stabilize the rapidly declining value of the national currency by buying gold, but this was only partially successful.

Whether the sale of the gold reserves was a wise or unwise move may become clear on 30 september. November: on that day, the swiss will decide in a referendum whether or not the federal reserve bank must hold at least 20 percent of its total assets in gold. Currently, the percentage is just 7.4 percent. If the swiss citizens accept the proposal, their central bank will have to buy well over 1000 tons of gold in the next five years. In this case, the price of gold was likely to continue to rise – and the attractiveness of the franc as a crisis-proof currency was likely to continue to increase.

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