In view of the Russian annexation of the Crimea and the ongoing Russian efforts to destabilize the Ukraine, the Western industrialized countries challenged the political and economic cooperation with Russia. As part of their political strategy they imposed economic sanctions on Russia which retaliated in a similar manner. Thus the authors describe the sanction mechanisms and its economic effects and analyze the reciprocal economic dependencies with a special focus on Germany. They conclude that trade with Russia is of minor importance for Germany and the majority of the EU countries, possible losses could be compensated. The only severe, short-term problem would be interruptions of Russian gas deliveries. But due to Russian dependencies on revenues from raw material exports as well as on technology imports from Western countries the Russian economy would suffer even more in case of a tightening of sanctions.