German lobby group supports continued business in Russia
German Eastern Business Association Chairman Oliver Hermes warned on Tuesday of the implications of Western sanctions against Russia. He also expressed support for German companies still operating in the country.
Hermes said, as quoted by Reuters, that there are a number of sectors “in which further economic activity is not only lawful but also legitimate.”
According to him, “Russia, like Ukraine, supplies the world market with much-needed agricultural products such as grain… Sanctions in this area would lead to further shortages and price increases, and hit the poorest countries in particular.”
The lobby group’s chairman noted that there is also the matter of German companies’ responsibility for their 280,000 employees in Russia.
“A sale of production facilities is hardly possible at the present time and would play into the hands of market participants from countries that do not implement sanctions against Russia,” Hermes said.
He explained that there are also threats ranging from contractual penalties to the complete loss of assets and legal consequences for senior employees. “We therefore firmly reject blanket condemnation of companies that are still active on the Russian market,” Hermes said.
As part of Western economic sanctions, foreign companies have been pressured to leave Russia. However, some of them, including Germany’s Bayer, have decided to stay.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section