No, Germany did not admit the failure of sanctions against Russia

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An anonymous web portal used the opinion of a German columnist to write an article with the title incorrectly claiming that Germany has admitted the failure of sanctions against Russia.


Readers turned to us with a request to check the accuracy of the claims from the article published on August 5, 2022, on the web portal Borba, under the title:

Germany admitted the failure of anti-Russian sanctions

The article states that the German journalist Olaf Gersemann, in a column for the newspaper WELT, questioned the sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Russian Federation after the aggression against Ukraine. Gersemann believes that sanctions do not produce the desired results.

Velt cited the continued trade growth between Russia and Germany despite the sanctions.

German trade with Russia continues to grow despite the embargo on coal, gold, steel and vodka, according to Die Velt columnist Olaf Gerseman.

Referring to an article in Zidojce Zeitung, the author stated that the purpose of sanctions against Russia is “to send a signal to Putin”. (…)

He admitted that the physical import from Russia was reduced by 30 percent, but he emphasized that the German goal was not achieved.

“Everything turned out against our calculations. Russia will balance its budget and will be able to leave more gas in the country for future production. So even more billions of euros and rubles will flow from Germany to Russia”, summarized the author.

By the time of writing this analysis, according to data from the CrowdTangle tool, Borba’s article had 4,175 interactions on Facebook.

Olaf Gersemann, a columnist for the German daily newspaper WELT, which also has its own online edition, published on August 4, 2022, a column reported by the anonymous web portal Borba, under the title “23 billion euros for Putin’s war – German imports continue to grow”.

As stated in Borba’s article itself, the author of the column discusses how effective the sanctions really are since Germany depends on the various goods it imports from Russia. Sanctions, as well as their effects, and the general mood of public opinion towards such an approach, are a frequent topic of many world media.

However, the title, which claims that “Germany has admitted the failure of anti-Russian sanctions”, is manipulative and inaccurate because it suggests that it is the official position of a single country. Contrary to the claim in the title, it is clear from the article itself that Gersemann expresses a personal view.

A Google search for the terms “GermanyRussiasanctions” does not offer information according to which the German government, the chancellor and representatives of other authorities expressed official views on the success of the sanctions.

Given that the claim from the title of Borba’s article suggesting that “Germany has admitted the failure of anti-Russian sanctions” leads the audience to the conclusion that it is an official position when, in fact, it is the opinion of a German columnist, we rate it as disinformation.

As it is clear from the article itself that there is no official position of Germany, the article’s content does not correspond to the title, so we evaluate the claim as clickbait.

(Author: Mladen Lakić,

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