German Executives Denounce EU/US Leaders Over Russia Confrontation

Tyler Durden's picture


With at least 300,000 German jobs dependent on business relations with Russia, it is hardly surprising that, as Reuters reports, several top German executives have criticized the strategy of the U.S. and Europe in dealing with Russia fearing the consequences for their businesses. On the heels of Siemens CEO's comments (as we noted here) that "you don’t want to sanction anyone you depend on,” a number of other senior German executives have commented that that great change could be achieved if the West cooperated with Russia rather than being confrontational. Deutsche Post's Appel summed it up, "Since we don't have major sources of raw materials in Europe, we will always be dependent on others... and it seems questionable to me whether dependence on the Middle East or Venezuela would be better than that on Russia."

As Reuters notes,

Russia is Germany's 11th biggest commercial partner, with trade reaching 76.5 billion euros ($105 billion) last year, according to the trade association Ost Ausschuss.

Many companies are worried about losing out on business if further sanctions take effect. Some 300,000 German jobs are linked to business there and Europe's biggest economy depends on Russia for 35 percent of its gas.


But more executives are concerned that the West's confrontations with Putin will have unintended consequences...

Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp's Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger told daily newspaper Die Welt that the events of the past had shown that great change could be achieved if the West cooperated with Russia rather than being confrontational.


"Now we have a situation in which Russia feels that its back is against the wall," he said in an article published on the paper's website on Saturday.




"Many German companies that invested in Russia last year or wanted to build production sites there have now given up their plans or put them on ice," Bernd Hones, Economic Correspondent at economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest in Moscow, told weekly paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.


He added that German corporations had the impression that Russian industrial firms did not think it politically appropriate to do business with German companies.




Some non-industrial German companies, such as retailer Metro and drugmaker Stada have said they would continue to invest in Russia as long as threatened G7 sanctions do not disrupt business.


Herbert Hainer, chief executive of sporting goods maker Adidas, told Die Welt that he believed the West waited too long to start talks with Putin when tensions between Russia and Ukraine rose.


"We should ask ourselves if someone like Putin shouldn't have been part of the process much earlier, instead of holding off with talks until it's too late," he said.




Eckhard Cordes, head of Germany's Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, warned that some trade with Russia could shift to China if Europe turned its back on Russian gas.


"Russia would find new sales markets in China if Europe limited its energy imports," he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, adding such a development could not be in Europe's interest.



But German politicians are not amused...

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser acted “a bit off-key” by meeting Putin in Moscow on March 26 to discuss business ties, ARD television quotes Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel as saying in interview today.




Gabriel added that they must avoid impression that European values, including inviolability of borders, are for sale

But perhaps they should listen to Deutsche Post's CEO's comments:

"Since we don't have major sources of raw materials in Europe, we will always be dependent on others," Appel said.


"And it seems questionable to me whether dependence on the Middle East or Venezuela would be better than that on Russia."

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Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:02 | 4608882 jim249
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"you don’t want to sanction anyone you depend on,”

Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:07 | 4608906 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

Of course the German Executives are angered; Russia is a huge trade partner. They do not appreciate the Nulanders fucking up the business environment to carry on their shabby agendas.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:35 | 4608991 MeMadMax
MeMadMax's picture

"They do not appreciate the OCHOOMA fucking their business environment"


There, fixed it for ya...

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:41 | 4609003 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"Fuck the EU."  (Remember that one?)

"Yeah, fuck you right back, America" seems to be the underlying message from Europe.

This administration's behavior can't be fully explained by incompetence.  Even incompetent people arrive at the right asnwer by accident occasionally.


Sun, 03/30/2014 - 21:49 | 4609200 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Ooooookay, so this is what the oligarch soros meant Germany brought in line...

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 02:45 | 4609752 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

or this is germany's response after getting a 'negative' to the question of whether ukraine's gold was being sent to them

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:13 | 4609819 Rubicon
Rubicon's picture

Obama is in Saudi Arabia right now having his knuckles wrapped. If Oatar's gas gets through Syria to Europe, Germany will tell the Russians to fuck off. Its a big "if" though and one that should keep Obama up all night.

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 08:05 | 4609989 Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

Why would Germany tell Russia to "fuckoff" ? There's more business through that route than just the gas. Russia is a far larger country, and population than Quatar.

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:23 | 4609827 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

It was shorted to China, didn't you see last week's chart?

Oh, my bad. That was MH370 gold.

Wrong gold, Ukraine gold was the week before.

Did you see that chart?

Who's up next?

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:50 | 4610792 Truthseeker2
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Obama’s Ukraine Fiasco Will Trigger US-EU Economic Ruin…
Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:52 | 4609029 Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque's picture

As expected, there is a deep power conflict between the industrials and the fascist financials. Hopefully the voice of the industrials will be strong enough to reduce the tensions and bring some good old common sense back on the table.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:10 | 4608922 silvermail
silvermail's picture

Create enmity between Germany and Russia - is the main goal of Washington.
Thus, Washington achieves its goals of world domination, through a policy of "divide and rule". Here and now we see a classic example of this policy of Washington.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 21:30 | 4609150 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

You mean we see it failing?

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 02:19 | 4609722 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Bingo! As Deutschland goes, so goes the EU.

The Anglo-American alliance is shitting its pants for that reason, and why they bugged Merkel.

Except that she's too stupid to realize this and too timid to do anything about it, and "our" side knows this. Hopefully smarter German heads with a better pay grade than hers have figured this out, and read her the "Riot Act".

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 03:42 | 4609788 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

If one would want prove the EU politicians are not only unelected, but are also acting against the will of the EU people, this would be a nice example.

One might ask why the EU politicians (technically they are not politicians, since no one voted for them and there is no possibility to vote them out) take positions 180° against the EU people and important EU companies.

I think the NSA is key here. These CEO's who have spoken out, must be honest people that have nothing to hide from the public. The politicains on the other hand...

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:29 | 4609833 RadioactiveRant
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You can vote the current lot out between 22 and 25 May 2014, they'll be replaced with different people reading the same script. No different to any other election/"democracy".

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:44 | 4609838 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

BS the commision is the only real power. And no elections there!

EDIT: but you are right, elections would not change anything, if they could they would be illegal.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:37 | 4608995 Spumoni
Spumoni's picture

I am reminded of a tee-shirt that I once saw:

"Shit happens.

Hindu says, "This shit has happened before."

Judaism: "But why does this shit keep happening to me?"

Christianity: "Because it's your fault."

Buddhist: "But what is the sound of shit happening.""

Go figure.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:54 | 4609039 ebear
ebear's picture

Sikhism: When shit happens, it is righteous to take up the sword.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 21:57 | 4609221 StychoKiller
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Islam:  "When sh!t happens, it is the will of Allah!"

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 15:42 | 4611624 Spumoni
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That's alla ta shit!

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 02:29 | 4609731 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Atheist: "Shit happens"

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:04 | 4609805 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture


Mon, 03/31/2014 - 08:10 | 4609996 Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

"If shit happens how much and how can we profit from it ?"  who said that ?

'cause they might be the ones who instigate the next shit.

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 15:40 | 4611617 Spumoni
Spumoni's picture

Ah thanks you for that. The spongeholes are spreading and details keep slipping through!

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:04 | 4608893 max2205
max2205's picture

How about some fucking courage Krauts!

Not that I agree with all this

NATO is fucked when push comes to shoves

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:10 | 4608918 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Oh I don't know.  Looks like they're taking a middle road.

More balls than Barry, but less than Moochelle.

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 02:53 | 4609759 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

they could do worse than to throw their lot in with russia, crack the nato alliance, and keep all of those US nukes parked on their lawn as compensation for the 'missing gold'

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:07 | 4609807 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

Downvotes for queen 'quatch?

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:05 | 4608897 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Stockholm syndrome.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:12 | 4608927 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture is a little late in the game to be raising this issue.

If Putin really does "bust a move" here I wouldn't want to be Poland..."otherwise known as the German Buffer State."

Could be looking at a Northern War right out of Stockholm actually.

France is ucked here no matter what happens.
There is no way I want my money in Europe (save krona) right now.

Maybe Espana.
They love their Bullfighters there...

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:06 | 4608900 NOZZLE
NOZZLE's picture

Figures that a dumb ghetto buck like obanga would take the side of the swastika wearing goons in Kyiv and weaponize them no less.   As Lavrov said, this is not 1978, your sanctions are as limp as Onyango's teeny little c9ck.

Also, turning a blind eye to censorship of Russian news in ukraine of Nazi thugs beating on Christians makes your democracy rant hollow. 

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:15 | 4608935 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

These are good people in Kiev. "And that will be their undoing" as was said in the movie Highlander.

The words "Russia" and "vast" really to go hand and glove.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:06 | 4608901 Alternative
Alternative's picture

I wonder what do Germans mean when they say 'West'? 

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:14 | 4610627 Treason Season
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Asia starts east of the Rhine.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:06 | 4608902 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Lean over for the Neomunchcons...

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:06 | 4608904 10mm
10mm's picture

German Executives. Right

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:10 | 4608915 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture


Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:09 | 4608916 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

The Germans are the natural partner for russia - NOT the USA - which is a WWII relationship set up under duress as a vestige of post war neutralization of russia

if europe is to breakout of its tailspin -  the EU needs to get out from under the dictates of the US and debt to USA federal reserve with an end to NATO and a  eurasian trading block of china and russia / iran and many others waiting to join

Merkel will have to lead the way for her people and get rid of the baggage of the neo-cons and obama 

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:17 | 4608945 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

At least Austria has mountains.

"There ain't nothin' but the Autobahn between Moscow and Berlin."
And. "We could be going for the record here!"

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 21:17 | 4609108 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Interesting how quickly India threw their hat in the ring with Putin... and how the US msm swept it under the rug. 

Imo, industrialists in Germany have more clout than their western counterparts... and since they work closely with their employees and their unions, and have influence over their employees, Merkle will come under a lot of pressure to go along with the industrialists wishes. 

Which is most likely what Merkle wants but will not say at this time. 

Merkle seemed to be the EU leader most pissed to find out the NSA was spying on her in every possible way. Angela is a very cagy pol... Perhaps having 'her' industrialists come out in favor of 'business first' is her way of moving a pawn on the board without using her own hand. 

At any rate Angela and Putin have had a series of private meetings over the years and have not said what they discussed. The two also have a lot in common. I believe that they are about as close to being friends as any two pols can be.

Who believes that Merkle will throw Putin under the bus, giving up trade with Russia?

The game is morphing from nickle-dime-quarter to table stakes.



Sun, 03/30/2014 - 23:14 | 4609431 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I wonder if Putin was Merkel's boss when she was in The Stasi.

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 02:22 | 4609727 Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis's picture

"The two also have a lot in common."


They both have nice moobs.


Mon, 03/31/2014 - 00:06 | 4609536 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

There are many Germans in Russia. From Katerine invited to farm, bankers and other.

My Lady is attorney, real German blood. Her family was bankers arrived under Katerine. They married inside Germans exclusive.

One region Russia has more real German dna than Germany.

Governor of Tomsk Oblast is German, and others in Russian high positions.


Mon, 03/31/2014 - 04:56 | 4609848 free_lunch
free_lunch's picture

/conspiracy mode on

This is where the Snowden revelations might come in.

How many of the top-politicians would be 100% clean of corruption in one way or an other? Remember these people are flesh and blood like the guy next door. They are surrounded by lobbyists and big money on a day to day basis for years and years, they also have friends and family asking them favors every now and then..

Therefore it is hard to imagine that even the decent ones have never ever done something that could be used against them. If not they would be inhuman, surely at one point the used there position to help a friend or relative, and some may have done much worse things.

The beauty of the Snowden case is, that they do not have to even know all the dirty secrets politicians might have, if they would want to confront every single politician, they would have to provide details on what they know, they would also risk blackmail practices being exposed.

Thanks to the Snowden revelations, they don't even have to proof they have blackmail material. It doesn't matter if they have, it's enough the politician knows he has crossed the line somewhere while using fax, email, phone, bank-accounts..

/conspiracy mode off


If one would go with such a ridiculous conspiracy theory, the talk of what the EU interests are and what will be good for EU economy would become irrelevant.





Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:09 | 4608919 DeliciousSteak
DeliciousSteak's picture

Russia and Germany are the guarantors of peace in Europe. Germany needs to keep Russian energy flowing and Russia needs the revenue. In reality Germany has no problems with giving Russia its natural sphere of influence, but they need to keep up appearances for now.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 20:55 | 4609044 Keyser
Keyser's picture

And quietly move away from the Merkan form of hegemony practiced at the end of a barrel.


Sun, 03/30/2014 - 23:03 | 4609403 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Lord knows there's no history of that from Germany or Russia!

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 00:39 | 4609603 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Seriously, if you are a German or Russian and you see Obama as the President - you have to think the USA is over and done.  This is not because he is half black though I think it is 25% or less.  He is a puppet but still.  Maybe someone like Allan West or Thomas Sowell not NWO Colon Bowel.  The blind black man and Democrat who ran NY state as governor is better than Obama.

Europe and Russia must know that the elites will implode Amerika soon.  The Germans would be fools not to make nice with Putin.  He is rational, sane, intelligent and you have to be careful but you can work with him. 

Obama, Biden, McCain and Amerika are a joke with their shitty high tech, internet, cloud storage/hosting and software infested with NSA bugs.  Just call it USSA shitware.

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 23:14 | 4609433 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Eastern Germans more than 30 years old might have a bone to pick about returning to the warm embrace of Muscovy.

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