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Most German companies in Russia oppose sanctions as wrong policy tool

September 09, 2014, 17:13 UTC+3
The opinion poll conducted by the chamber suggests that 78% of German companies are of this view
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BERLIN, September 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Most of German companies working in Russia dismiss economic sanctions as “an ineffective and wrong political tool,” says a report by German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Commerce made public in Berlin on Tuesday.

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.

Infographics Economical sanctions against Russia Economical sanctions against Russia
The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
“German innovative machine building and industrial equipment production, mostly represented by medium business enterprises, has been affected most of all,” deputy head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie-und Handelskammertag, DIHK) Volker Treier said. According to him, “on the one hand, the direct cause of this was the introduction of the EU sanctions and ambiguity of their application, on the other hand, this happened because of the considerably increased financing costs for Russian customers due to the loan lack and fall of the rouble.”

“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.

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