What happened in Nagorno-Karabakh and the strategy of President Vladimir Putin paralysed Ukrainian leadership. Their plans in the Donbas and Crimea are now unfeasible. Ukraine was discussing military cooperation with Turkey, but the peace deal shocked both leaderships. If Ukraine, following Azerbaijan’s example, tried to take back the Donbas with force now, it would give Russia a free hand to act.
Germany has decided to become a locomotive of some aggressive actions against non-European Union and non-NATO states.
It had been previously said that Berlin was stepping up its efforts to discourage Russia. Addressing unjustified accusations, making final notes and threats against Russia has become the norm for Germany.
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on anti-Russian policy in Europe. The narrative portrays Western governments and institutions, for example, NATO, as being Russophobic and trying to denigrate Russia.
According to Germany's Foreign Ministry, dialogue with Russia remains important for the country. From an economic point of view, Germany is Russia’s largest trade partner after China. Although Russia and Germany are economic partners, political relations are overshadowed by Russia’s violations of fundamental principles enshrined in international law such as its annexation of Crimea, actions in eastern Ukraine and the recent poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Germany's response to the Navalny case is not an anti-Russia line.
Germany or the EU, in general, does not impose sanctions on all non-EU states, but only on those that violate democratic norms, such as Russia and Belarus.
On 2 October 2020, the Council imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members and journalists in the wake of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process. Restrictive measures include a travel ban and an asset freeze.
See related disinformation cases alleging that the EU imposed Navalny-related sanctions on Russia despite lack of proof.