Majority of Germans against anti-Russia economic sanctions | Business | Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.03.2014

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Majority of Germans against anti-Russia economic sanctions

An opinion poll has shown that the overwhelming majority of Germans is against the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine policy. But that doesn't mean they don't want any help for Kyiv.

A survey by Infratest dimap pollsters for German public broadcaster ARD and the newspaper "Die Welt" revealed Friday the majority of Germans was wary of economic sanctions against Russia even though the situation had escalated over Crimea.

The poll said only 38 percent of respondents viewed economic sanctions as a suitable instrument to change Russia's stance.

The survey indicated widespread public support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy of trying to stay away from anything but symbolic sanctions and backing the concept of a contact group that would reopen direct communications between Moscow and Kyiv.

Fallen into disgrace

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Sanctions: A double-edged sword

A total of 77 percent of Germans appeared to strictly oppose any considerations of excluding Russia from the G8 group of nations, while 92 percent believed severing diplomatic relations was completely out of the question.

Seventy-two percent of Germans supported economic help for Ukraine, while only 12 percent backed any military cooperation with Kyiv.

The survey shed a light on Germans' growing disenchantment with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with only 15 percent of those polled thinking he was a reliable partner and the rest saying he'd use any means at his disposal to promote Russian interests.