With London’s investment center so heavily reliant on economic ties to Eastern Europe and Russia in particular, any EU sanctions targeting Russia are likely to do major damage to the British economy.
British officials are all for it anyhow, with Foreign Secretary William Hague insisting the damage done to Britain economically was a “price worth paying” so long as it also hurt Russia in the process.
Not everyone in the European Union feels that way, however, as Austria is leading a number of nations within the EU who are skeptical of any additional sanctions being more harmful to their economies than to Russia itself.
Hague suggested the British government is fine with sabotaging its own economy for a chance to stick it to Russia, and Germany’s Merkel government has suggested the same thing, but how willing they will be once the political consequences of such damage becomes apparent remains to be seen. Even if they are content to weather than storm, EU sanctions must be unanimous, and eastern nations are likely to start vetoing the measures before they get too far out of hand.
Hague and other Western officials no doubt realize that, and are being especially bellicose about a sanctions war knowing that the eastern nations aren’t going to let them escalate indefinitely, sp British and German rhetoric won’t have to be put to the test as policy anyhow.
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