Sanctions could destroy Russian economy, German exporters warn

(Reuters) – A trade conflict between Russia and Europe over Ukraine would hurt German business but it would be life-threatening for the Russian economy, Germany’s main trade body said on Wednesday, making its forecasts conditional on the crisis in Crimea.

“All in all, we are optimistic about foreign business with large parts of the world. Unfortunately, that is not true for business with Russia,” said Anton Boerner, president of the BGA exporters’ lobby.

“A trade conflict would be painful for the German economy, but for the Russian economy it would be life-threatening.”

Europe’s trade volume with Russia accounts for about 1% of European Union gross domestic product (GDP) and 15% of Russian GDP, BGA said…

Related: (Reuters) – Seven decades after the end of World War Two, the ghosts of that conflict are being evoked in an ideological as well as geopolitical battle over the future of Ukraine.

In a country that was occupied by Nazi Germany and suffered decades of repressive Soviet rule, the words “communist” and “fascist” can still conjure up horror and terror. Fascism in particular is not usually a word that is used lightly.

This has changed during three months of crisis in Ukraine and as it tries to hold on to the Crimea region, where power now lies in the hands of Russian separatists and Russian forces.

The label “fascist” is being bandied about so often, by politicians and protesters, that it risks becoming an everyday part of the political lexicon deprived of its original meaning.

It has mainly been used by Russia, against the new pro-Western leadership in Kiev and the Ukrainians who protested for three months until they deposed Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich as president on February 22.

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The label “fascist” is bandied about? And who would do that more than the media, like Reuters? And not just in Ukraine.