German exporters hit by Ukraine crisis

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Frankfurt - The crisis in Ukraine is damaging German exports to the war-torn region and to Russia, new trade data showed on Friday.

In the first four months of this year, exports to Ukraine and Russia declined by more than 2.0 billion euros ($2.7 billion), according to data compiled by the Committee on Eastern Europe Economic Relations.

Exports to Ukraine plunged by 31 percent or by 500 million euros and exports to Russia were down 14 percent or by 1.7 billion euros, the committee calculated.

“Extrapolated across the whole year, this drop in exports is putting 25,000 jobs in Germany at risk,” said committee chief Eckhard Cordes.

“This crisis is poison for the Russian and Ukraine economies and the longer it lasts, the bigger the dangers of contamination for the neighbouring economies and for Germany,” Cordes warned.

“We hope that everyone involved will stop the crisis from spreading and use the current opportunities to de-escalate the situation.”

For its survey, the committee quizzed around 105 companies active in eastern Europe.

The companies have a total 50,000 employees in Russia alone and generate annual sales of 20 billion euros there.

Some 60 percent of them said they are already feeling the economic fall-out on their Russian activities from Ukraine, including 10 percent who described the impact as “very negative”.

Around half of those companies that had planned to invest in the region have put those plans on ice.

Some 44 percent said they opposed economic sanctions on Russia.

Russia is Germany's 10th biggest trading partner. - Sapa-AFP

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