The chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest financial institution, is urging the EU to hold off on any new economic sanctions against Russia, warning that the sanctions may have a negative impact on the bloc. Speaking during an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, CEO Christian Sewing warned that the sanctions have already caused “enormous damage” to the Russian economy – while also having a “negative impact” on Germany (mostly in the form of higher energy prices).
Sewing also criticized the latest proposal to shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, arguing that such a development would pose a threat to the energy security of the entire EU.
“We should first let the announced sanctions take effect,” Sewing said.
“However, these sanctions also have a negative impact on us, and we must endure this,” Sewing said, adding states should be thinking “again and again” before introducing tougher ones.
Curtailing Nord Stream 1 would lead to “serious problems” with Germany’s energy supply.
“If we curtail Nord Stream 1, although this will not mean the end of Russian gas supplies to Germany, this will soon lead to serious problems with energy supply, and a significant increase in prices in our country,” Sewing said.
In February, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked operators of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline, which carries more than one-third of Germany’s natural gas imports, to shut down the pipeline. But the German energy giant E.ON, which operates the pipeline, rejected this.
After shutting down most of DB’s Russian business earlier this month, Sewing called for increasing investments in renewable energy sources, and to “expand their use as quickly as possible.” Sewing also said that a highly technological nation like Germany shouldn’t rule out nuclear energy in such a decisive way.