Business NGO Tells EU, Russia Leaders About Negative Effect More Sanctions Would Have

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The Association of European Businesses (AEB), an independent non-commercial association promoting the business interests of European companies in Russia, said Thursday that it had sent letters to the 28 leaders of the European Union, as well as Russia and Ukraine, explaining the negative effects that more retaliatory measures would have.

MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Association of European Businesses (AEB), an independent non-commercial association promoting the business interests of European companies in Russia, said Thursday that it had sent letters to the 28 leaders of the European Union, as well as Russia and Ukraine, explaining the negative effects that more retaliatory measures would have.

“Among our members are global companies with businesses in sectors which would be directly affected by these measures,” an AEB statement quoted the letter as saying. “The introduction of such measures could lead to a serious decline in production volume and the number of workplaces, affecting not only the manufacturers themselves, but also suppliers and retailers working in these sectors. All this would harm not only the business of the companies concerned, but also fiscal revenues through the loss of tax and duty payments.”

The AEB reiterated its call to EU and Russian authorities to protect foreign investors from both sides from any further retaliatory measures.

The association also asked to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso during his business trip to Kiev next week. The Association believes that businesses act as a bridge between countries, and should not be limited in any way, according to the statement.

On Wednesday, the European Commission approved a proposal to significantly expand sanctions against Russia, but the final decision is yet to be made by EU member countries. The proposals concern access to capital markets, defense, dual use goods, and sensitive technologies.

The West has introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia, accusing it of expanding forces on the border with eastern Ukraine and supplying independence supporters with weapons, a claim Moscow has rejected.

In late July, the European Union and the United States proceeded from individual sanctions imposed on a number of people and companies to penalties on whole sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Russia has limited food imports from countries that imposed sanctions on it, namely the US, the EU member states, Canada, Australia and Norway.

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