U.S. Sanctions Threaten Russia’s European Partners: Lobby Group

The main threat from U.S. sanctions against Russia lies in their expansion to Russia’s partners in European countries, Alexander Shokhin, the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) said during a Russian-Turkish business forum on Monday, according to TASS news agency.

“It’s not about what kind of sanctions the Americans will introduce against us. If they ban import of Russian products, for example, it would not actually hurt anyone, no one will notice it, especially because the Americans are very flexible – they make exceptions for the Russian products they really need: rocket engines, titanium, some other commodities,” Shokhin noted.

“We are concerned by the threat of secondary sanctions. The thing is that our European partners, our partners from other countries, who form part of the global financial relations, are afraid that secondary sanctions would affect them if they cooperate with Russian business,” said Shokhin, who used to be involved in politics and served as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in the 1990’s.

He added that the union supports the EU in the establishment of a mechanism analogous to the global banking payment system SWIFT and the monetary fund, as well as the EU’s orientation towards conducting transactions in national currency in order to lessen the dependency on the U.S.

The expert added that he does not expect the sanctions to be lifted in the next five years. He noted that the Russian economy has adapted to the sanctions, but business continues to suffer from uncertainty, as it “impedes the realization of the companies’ investment plans, and, moreover, restricts bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” he stated.