The current sanctions regime concerning Russia expires at the end of July, and media reports say it will be extended for another six months – though this is yet to be officially confirmed. The European Parliament passed a resolution last week advising EU governments to maintain economic sanctions against Russia, a position similar to that of the European G7 leaders, who want Moscow to end its support for secessionists in eastern Ukraine.
What effect have the sanctions had so far on business with Russia? GTR caught up with David Cant of Albion Overseas at the GTR UK Trade and Export Finance Conference to understand whether prolonged sanctions are bad news for business. Cant is actually optimistic on the issue, saying that the sanctions were designed not to hurt exporters too much, that Russians are eager to do business, and that media have been portraying a biased picture of the country.
“Most companies think they will have problems with security, with whether Russians have money, with language, with sanctions perhaps, and with whether the product is understood from a technical point of view,” says Cant. “Not one of these has actually been an issue.” According to him, the most problematic aspect of doing business with Russia is actually bureaucracy.