Germany needs to take a leadership position in negotiating an economic solution to the rapidly escalating standoff on the Crimean peninsula, said Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs asset management chairman and expert on emerging economies.
Heavily dependent on Russian gas for energy, Germany has the closest trade relationship with Russia among Western leaders, O’Neill said Monday during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” That gives it the most to lose if its allies decide to pursue economic sanctions against Russia, O’Neill said.
“Economic sanctions are really only going to work if the countries that get hurt the most themselves stick to them,” O’Neill said.
Fears over the global imbroglio caused by Russian troops seizing control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula last week sent stocks into a tailspin across global financial markets on Monday.
If Germany can not only sign on to an economic package designed to end the standoff, but also play a large role in its development, that would give O’Neill “a little more comfort” about geopolitical tensions, he said.
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