The European Union’s economic sanctions imposed against Russia last week are problematic for businesses. Many companies are preparing for substantial declines in revenues, while others are extremely anxious because they are not entirely certain whether their products fall under the export restrictions of the sanctions regime.
Local chambers of industry and commerce are receiving more inquiries, and there is great demand for advice, especially among the medium-sized companies that make up the backbone of the German economy, said officials with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). According to the German Engineering Association (VDMA), many companies are steering clear of business deals with Russia and have stopped submitting bids to Russian clients.
The prospect of impending losses has led to political involvement. States like Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, where companies have traditionally maintained strong business ties with Russia, as well as the northern state of Lower Saxony, are calling for government assistance to businesses affected by sanctions against Russia. They want additional aid for companies and advocate a uniform, nationwide approach to the problem. Olaf Lies, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the economy minister in Lower Saxony, even proposed a special conference of state economy ministers.