(Reuters) – China’s top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.
In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.
“We don’t see any point in sanctions,” Shi said. “Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don’t want this.”
Using her toughest rhetoric since the crisis began, she warned in a speech in parliament on Thursday that Russia risked “massive” political and economic damage if it did not change course in the coming days.
Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev responded by promising “symmetrical” sanctions by Moscow.
“We still see a chance to avoid an escalation. The door to talks is still open. We should use this possibility, also after the referendum,” Shi said.
Full article: China warns of dangerous Russia sanctions ‘spiral’ (Reuters)