Closely entwined economically with Russia, Germany is a pivotal player in the West’s standoff with Russia.
But in business circles in the country’s capital city, there appears to be a low level of concern for now that it will impact the German economy as there is little appetite to accelerate sanctions against Russia for the invasion and annexation of Crimea.
“The frigid winds that are now blowing may feel like the Cold War but it’s not the Cold War,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS. Yergin was in Berlin to present a report on German competitiveness and energy.
While 6,000 German companies do business in Russia, energy and manufacturers are at the heart of the relationship. Germany gets about 35 percent of its gas from Russia and about half of it flows from pipelines crossing Ukraine.
“What’s unsettlng is not only what happened but if there’s risk of inadvertent escalation,” Yergin said.
Other business leaders and former political figures speaking on background in Germany stress the situation is the most serious since the Cold War and say they are looking for a diplomatic solution.
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