Russia sanctions could leave Germans without popular Christmas decoration – Bild
A Christmas decoration manufacturer in the German state of Saxony may close down due to sanctions on Russian timber, newspaper Bild reported on Saturday.
The company in question specializes in ‘schwibbogen’, traditional carved wooden arches with Christmas themes used as candleholders.
According to the report, the company, which has produced these decorations for 30 years, has seen its warehouse stocks dwindle ever since the EU ban on Russian timber and wood products came into force earlier this year.
The company’s owner, Katja Taulin, told the news outlet that while her company usually makes the decorations all year round, work is now carried out only by special order, and that she had to raise prices due to the lack of supplies.
“Since the summer we stopped receiving Russian birch plywood, whose market share [prior to sanctions] was 93%... Like all our colleagues, we have been trying to figure out for months how we can replace Russian wood. But it is pointless,” Taulin stated, noting that the quality of the alternatives to Russian raw materials is unsuitable.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next. These sanctions are hurting us and our country,” Taulin added.
Brussels sanctioned Russian timber on April 9, with a transition period lasting until July for companies whose import contracts were signed before that date. Restrictions targeted timber and wood products, charcoal, wood pulp, cardboard, as well as wooden furniture and furniture parts. However, according to Russian forest regulator Roslesinforg, the country has been able to continue selling timber products to the EU through third countries.
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