WASHINGTON — German Finance Minister Wolfgang SchКuble said Thursday that economic strength, rather than military might, would ultimately determine the outcome of the West's standoff with Russia over Ukraine.
Speaking at a Brookings Institution event in Washington, SchКuble described the standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "new systemic conflict" that would be won by the side with greater "soft power" and a stronger economy.
"In the long term, the conflict with Putin's Russia will be decided only on the basis of economic strength," he said.
"European sanctions are definitely having an impact on Putin's Russia," he added. "But we can afford these sanctions only because — and as long as — we have a strong economy."