Germany wants to be excused from American sanctions against Russia, sanctions that were imposed over Russia’s misbehaviors. The misbehaviors include meddling in our elections, and Russia’s continued efforts to meddle in our upcoming elections.
Germany does a lot of business with Russia. Trade between the two countries rose to €54.5 billion ($67.4 billion) last year from €45 billion in 2016, despite increasingly stringent sanctions, and German companies have invested more than €20 billion in Russia in recent years.
This is nonsense. And Germany plainly has been sidestepping existing sanctions right along. The desire to be excused stems more from Germany’s choosing to be hostage to Russian oil and natural gas supplies than anything else. Germany’s voluntary hostage status is accelerating through its support for a natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would run directly from Russia to Germany.
No, the sanctions are intended to hold Russia to account for its misbehaviors, to punish Russia for them. No punishment occurs if exceptions are given out over this or that excuse or for any reason at all. Sanctions may well be inconvenient for some entities other than the target, and that’s unfortunate. Nevertheless, Germany needs to shape up and stop masquerading itself as victim.