From Politics Today (Политица Сегодня):
Germany falls under the sanction steamroller
The reason is the incorrect political course of the country. Now, Berlin, on its own skin, “feels” what it means to violate the will of the United States and … Saudi Arabia.
Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has forbidden all state institutions of the country to purchase equipment and products from a number of German corporations.
Such concerns as Siemens, Bayer, Boehringer (which have multi-billion contracts with the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom), as well as the automobile concern Daimler, which was to supply hundreds of buses for the city lines of Riyadh and Jeddah, fall under the KSA sanctions.
The reason, apparently, is not economic, but political. Berlin incorrectly chose a course on the issue of “Middle East settlement.” It is not difficult to figure it out.
Germany, was first of the Western countries to reveal the essence of the provocation of Syrian militants in the Duma. It was the German correspondents who were the first from Western European countries to visit the scene, conduct an investigation and tell that there was no chemical attack, and that Donald Trump and his allies in the region (including Saudi Arabia) are liars. As a consequence, no German aircraft took part in the so-called “retaliation strike” in Syria.
In addition, the kingdom can not forgive Angela Merkel for Germany’s view of the Iranian nuclear program. It is the position of Germany, which, in the opinion of the Saudis, with Russian advocacy in the West on Middle East questions, has become, in the opinion of the Saudis, decisive in the actual failure of attempts to strangle Tehran with new sanctions, which Donald Trump announced three weeks ago and which were so joyfully welcomed in Tel Aviv and Riyadh.
Attacking Iran with “allied” military forces “allies” is obviously not on. Today Tehran is strong enough to give a worthy rebuff to the aggressor. And, any military conflict in the Persian Gulf zone will blow up the oil market. The price will fly to space, but Saudi Arabia itself will not be able to cash in on this, since it is its oil trade that will suffer the most. Tehran has already hinted that in case of an air strike, it will block the Strait of Hormuz with its coastal anti-missile systems, from which even the American fleet can not protect huge tankers.
In general, there is no military solution, whatever one may say. It was hoped that the sanctions announced by the US could weaken Riyadh’s main regional rival, but it was Germany’s position, as we already saw, that was decisive. The EU countries spoke out on this issue in a united front and even managed to win over Britain, which still fulfills any whims of Washington. And this can not but anger the Saudi princes.
So, Saudi Arabia declared sanctions on Germany. From impotence, from despair, from anger. What will the Germans lose in this case? Not very much. Saudi Arabia accounts for only 0.5% of German exports. In money, this is 6.6 billion dollars a year. Yet this amount is twice as high as Germany’s exports to Iran. I think this is the main calculation of the Saudis, supposing that the Germans are afraid to lose a bigger market for the sake of a lesser one.
True, they do not take into account another fact: Berlin in return can refuse to purchase Saudi oil (or reduce their volume), which will hit Riyadh much more, since losing the oil market today is easy, getting it back later will be almost impossible. And if Germany in principle starts to buy more oil from Iran insteads of Saudi Arabia, then through its sanctions against Berlin, Saudi Arabia will actually punish itself.
In general, the plot of this newly sanctioned German-Saudi novel is very interesting and confusing: The German companies trading with Saudi Arabia have not yet confirmed the message of Der Spiegel correspondents.
“Our affairs are going in the normal way,” they assure.
Perhaps they hope that sanctions can be avoided and do not rush to roil their Saudi “partners.” However, an uninterested source in the German Foreign Ministry assured the journalists that the sanctions are not only declared, but also really in effect.