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    European Businesses Freely Admit Working With Russia Despite Sanctions

    © Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev
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    The events that transpired at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) prove that Western companies don’t see any reason to conceal doing business with Russia.

    During the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that European businesses desire to cooperate with Russia, and that Western politicians should acknowledge these desires and react accordingly.

    According to Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the considerable increase of foreign companies attending this year’s forum as compared to the previous years’ event confirms that they don’t see any reason to conceal doing business with Russia.

    It also appears that certain Swiss companies have made up their mind a while ago as large corporations like Nestle, Novartis and ABB consider Russia an important export market.  Some of the Swiss business executives attending the SPIEF admitted that they’re quite content with their investments in Russia, while others even consider exporting Russian goods to other markets, the newspaper adds.

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung also points out that Switzerland attracted considerable attention during the forum by taking part in public discussion on cooperation with Russia.

    "Crises come and go, but Switzerland remains loyal to its partners, maintains neutrality in conflicts and always keeps its word," Stefan Flückiger, chief of the Sectoral Foreign Policy Division of the Swiss Federal Foreign Affairs Department, said.

    The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is an annual event that invariably draws the attention of major companies across the world. This year the forum was attended by a number of prominent dignitaries, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and a host of executives from the world's leading companies.

    Related:

    Over 330 Agreements Worth $15.7 Bln Signed at SPIEF 2016
    Russia, Italy Sign Contracts Worth Some $1.5Bln at SPIEF - Putin
    Juncker, Renzi Coming to SPIEF Shows EU’s Softening Stance on Russia
    Tags:
    exports, markets, investments, economic cooperation, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2016, Nestle, Vladimir Putin, Switzerland, Russia
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