The Slovenia Times

Heavy Sanctions Against Russia Would Hurt Slovenia?


Erjavec, who has been arguing against sanctions from the start, said that according to estimates made in Brussels heavy sanctions would lower Slovenia's GDP by up to 1.3% in the worst case scenario.

He indicated this scenario would mean absolute prohibition of cooperation with Russia, with which Slovenia conducts trade worth around EUR 1.6bn annually.

Heavy sanctions would also mean hard times for the engines of EU growth, Germany and France, and seriously undermine Europe's general macroeconomic situation, Erjavec added.

The key element influencing the decision for potential sanctions will be the presidential election in Ukraine on 25 May. If Russia prevents the execution of a transparent election and if Russian forces invade Ukraine, sanctions will be adopted immediately, Erjavec assessed.

In case things calm down, there is however a high chance of nothing happening, he added, expressing hope that enough wisdom will be demonstrated by all political players.

Erjavec moreover stressed that in case economic sanctions get adopted, he will definitely defend the interests of Slovenia's economy, just like he did in the case of sanctions against Belarus, when Slovenia suffered no consequences.

He also highlighted that in normal conditions trade with Russia could soon climb to EUR 2bn and that the idea was to draw up a plan for cooperation between the two countries in 2015 in May.

Moreover scheduled in the autumn is a meeting of a mixed economic commission that would confirm the cooperation plan, but now we are waiting to see what time will bring, Erjavec said.

EU foreign ministers expanded today the list of individuals subject to asset freezes and visa bans to 61 from 48 and also punished companies for the first time, namely two companies from Crimea.

Erjavec said he had no information about any individual on the list having assets in Slovenia or expressing a wish to come to Slovenia.


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