Moscow’s actions in the Crimea are comprehensible, former German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt said, criticizing the Western reaction to the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.
President Vladimir Putin’s approach to the Crimean issue is “completely understandable,” Schmidt wrote in Die Zeit newspaper where he’s employed as an editor.
While the sanctions, which target individual Russian politicians and businessmen, employed by the EU and the US against Russia are “a stupid idea,” he added.
The current restrictive measures are of symbolic nature, but if more serious economic sanctions are introduced “they’ll hit the West as hard as Russia,” Schmidt warned.
He also believes that the refusal of the Western countries to cooperate with Russia in the framework of the G8 is a wrong decision.
“It would’ve been ideal to get together now. It would certainly do a lot more to promotion of peace than the threats of sanctions,” the ex-chancellor explained.
But the G8 itself isn’t that as important as the G20, in which Russia remains a member, he added.
Schmidt executed the duties of chancellor of West Germany in 1974-82, also working as the country’s finance, economy and defense minister.