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Anti-Russian sanctions futile, boomerang possible — Danish business

July 31, 2014, 15:03 UTC+3 COPENHAGEN
Danish meat factories will suffer as they exported more than 2.5 billion krone, or $454.5 million worth of pork to Russia last year
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ITAR-TASS / Marina Lisceva

ITAR-TASS / Marina Lisceva

COPENHAGEN, July 31. /ITAR-TASS/. Expanded EU and US anti-Russian sanctions will considerably complicate life for Danish companies working with Russian partners, former Consul General of Denmark in St. Petersburg Jens Worning Serensen told B·rsen business daily on Thursday.

Russia might create difficulties for Danish companies’ work until they start to support cancellation of sanctions, said Serensen who now works as an advisor to Scandinavian companies operating on the Russian market.

Other Danish papers also expressed concerns over possible retaliation. Jyllands-posten fears an unfavourable response for the beer giant Carlsberg that has its major market in Russia. Danish meat factories will suffer as they exported more than 2.5 billion krone, or $454.5 million worth of pork to Russia last year. Bank Nordea, one of the top five financial institutions by lending to Russian partners, is also a likely victim.

Denmark can also lose 3 billion krone ($545.5 million), the worth of oil equipment the country supplies to Russia, Berlingske daily said.

Anti-Russian sanctions can have a boomerang effect on Danish business, and most Danish entrepreneurs doubt they will help achieve the expected political result, the daily said in another article.

“Russian companies are coming to the conclusion their European trade partners are unreliable as their governments blindly adopt sanctions without giving thought about their relevance,” said Erik Kongsgaard-Andersen from VIKING life saving equipment producer. “It would take much time to restore confidence, and during this time Russians will get used to do without our foods and industrial goods and find a replacement.”

Other companies remain cautiously silent about the sanctions’ possible impact, Berlingske added.

Russian companies are coming to the conclusion their European trade partners are unreliable as their governments blindly adopt sanctions without giving thought about their relevance Erik Kongsgaard-Andersen VIKING representative “Our companies in Russia work as usual but we are carefully observing possible legal restrictions,” said head of public affairs Anders Wuertzen at AP Moller-Maersk, Danish business conglomerate mainly active in transportation and energy.

Danish-Swedish cooperative Arla Foods opened a new milk factory in Russia at the year-start. “We are trying not to look far into the future of political developments that are constantly changing,” said senior manager at the company Hans Christensen. “We are in Russia for long and will continue investing in Russian-based facilities, personnel and marketing. We know we’ll face difficulties on this way but we are ready for them.”

According to the Confederation of Danish Industry (CDI), Denmark exports to Russia about 18 bilion krone, or $3.3 billion annually. Russia is thus Denmark’s 13th largest export market, with such major companies as Rockwool, Novo Nordisk, Grundfos and Carlsberg operating in Russia.

The CDI “highly appreciates strong and mutually beneficial economic relations between Russia and Denmark”, the confederation’s director for international marketing policy Peter Tagesen told ITAR-TASS. “We have long been cooperating with Danish companies, their Russian partners and governments for stronger contacts between the two countries’ business circles. The CDI finds the current situation regrettable but remains confident that close business ties will help successfully get through.

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