The opinion poll conducted by the chamber suggests that 78% of German companies are of this view.
However, 22% of them say sanctions are an effective tool. The poll has also shown that 66% of respondents regard the sanctions as “pointless.” At the same time, one-third (29%) of those polled said the sanctions were necessary, despite their harm to businesses. Four percent of the respondents said such measures were “absolutely necessary” for exerting pressure on Moscow.
German companies (24%) most of all fear sanctions on the exports of the so-called dual-use products to Russia. Representatives of almost 60% of the polled companies admitted that the Ukrainian conflict has already directly affected their business.
“We are not sure that economic sanctions in the long term can help achieve political goals,” President of the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Commerce Rainer Seele said. “We so far don’t feel changes in relations with our Russian partners,” he added. “Nevertheless, Russia’s turn to Asia, whether voluntary or forced, is a real challenge.” If the situation aggravates further, companies will have to stop projects, introduce part-time employment and even fire their workers and possibly quit the Russian market, the Chamber said.
It is noteworthy that despite the EU sanctions against Moscow, more than 70% of polled German companies assess the long-term potential of the Russian market and “high” or “very high.” Almost two-thirds of the polled companies say that by the end of 2014 their profits in Russia will either remain the same or increase. The study gives no specifics on the number of polled companies.