MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – EU and US sanctions against Russia are a lose-lose for both sides and could spark off a full-scale trade war, Steven Landers, a senior partner at the audit and accounting consultant firm SH Landes, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“There is an indirect impact as... the Russian government will bring in their own sanctions – already restrictions on fruit into Russia. It´s beginning to become a trade war,” Landers said.
He warned that if Russia and the West continue along this track, “the level of Western and Russian trade will reduce substantially, and we will all loose.”
Landers stressed there was “a growing middle class appetite towards Western consumer products” in Russia, and that expanding market could be lost to Western producers.
“They consume cars, clothes, electronics, high quality food... This appetite can only be fuelled by unrestricted imports. If Russian government closes on those imports, the middle classes and the ordinary people of Russia will suffer,” he said.
Landers confessed the UK government had not asked for the business community’s opinion when mulling sanctions against the Russian economy.
“We don’t have direct contact with government. It’s early days but we are not being considered, business people have not been asked to be involved. Some in the government tells us ‘it hurts but we’ve got to do it’,” he stressed.Steven Landers was among the UK’s most influential businessmen who lashed out at Brussels on Tuesday in an open letter published by The Telegraph and signed by seven top managers of several British companies.
"Through trade and contact, a trust develops leading to reliance and openness between countries. There is no better basis for establishing a better understanding between Russia and the West," the letter said.
In their joint letter, Steven Landers, Barry Martin (The Russia House), David Gardner (DG Leadership), Michael Lightfoot (Classical Brands), Timothy Jelley (Export Explorer), John Metcalfe (RFIB Group), John Bonar (Focus on Russia) urged for dialogue between the conflicting parties.