Germany Warns Russia of Possible Further Sanctions

By Dow Jones Business News, 

BERLIN--Possible negative consequences for Germany's economy won't keep it from backing tougher sanctions against Russia, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday, calling on Moscow to respect international rules and help stabilize the situation in Ukraine.

His comments come with the European Union possibly about to impose new sanctions against Russia as early as Tuesday after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko suspended the 10-day cease-fire against pro-Russian separatists that expired Monday night.

"We actually don't want any sanctions," Mr. Schaeuble told the Foreign Press Club, saying Germany wants a partnership with Russia. "But we have to insist that [international] rules will be respected."

Sanctions "will probably impact [our economy] but this will not keep us from doing what has to be done," he said. "It is absolutely clear: nobody should believe that we won't do what we say we would do because of economic concerns."

Norbert Roettgen, a senior lawmaker with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative parties and chairman of the lower house of parliament's foreign policy committee, said he expects the EU to impose further sanctions against Russia later Tuesday.

Germany's economy has close ties with Russian companies and Berlin had been reluctant to back sanctions and instead put more emphasis on diplomacy. However, the government has lost patience with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Moscow doesn't appear to be putting enough pressure on pro-Russian separatists to help calm matters in Ukraine.

Europe and the U.S. threatened Russia Friday with further sanctions if Moscow doesn't take concrete steps to de- escalate the situation in Ukraine by Monday.

During their summit on Friday, EU leaders had identified four concrete measures that must be taken if Moscow wanted to avoid new sanctions. They include establishing "effective control of the border" with independent monitors, the release of hostages and the launch of peace talks.

-Laurence Norman in Brussels contributed to this report.

Write to Andrea Thomas at

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