Nearly 9 out of 10 Big Russian Companies Fear New U.S. Sanctions: Survey

A new survey conducted by a Moscow-based consulting firm shows almost nine out of ten large Russian companies say they are wary of looming U.S. sanctions, The Moscow Times reports.

Eighty-six percent of big businesses in Russia said they were anxious about new punitive measures, according to a survey conducted by the U.S.-based Adizes Institute consultancy commissioned by news outlet RBC.

Respondents named import bans, a weaker ruble and a ban on Russian state banks conducting foreign exchange transactions as their top three concerns.

“It’s impossible to prepare for this, just like [it’s impossible to prepare] for a natural disaster,” said Mikhail Levchuk, a board member of the Business Russia entrepreneurial group.

Asked about the effects of the last round of sanctions in April, 95 percent of big Russian businesses said they had suffered from a weak ruble and instability in financial markets.

“We’ve all been cooking in this cauldron since 2014. Some were more successful, some less. Some went out of business, while others adapted and found other suppliers,” Levchuk was quoted as saying.

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department targeted major Russian companies and prominent businessmen for their closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In August, a bipartisan bill was passed in Congress which would restrict new Russian sovereign debt transactions, energy and oil projects,  and uranium imports, and would extend sanctions on Russian political figures and oligarchs.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. lawmakers will consider the bill after Tuesday’s midterm elections.