Beyond the headline-grabbing effects, the severance of economic relations with Russia is experienced differently depending on the sector of activity. It is an additional hazard for companies already affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On February 24, the whole world was stunned to discover that a nuclear-armed country could, in 2022, grant itself the right to send 100,000 troops to violate the territorial integrity of a neighbour under false pretences. The geopolitical explosion was quickly followed by unprecedented sanctions, which have since been tightened several times, against high-ranking Russian personalities and companies closely linked to the Russian state, such as the banks VTB and Sberbank and the oil giant Gazprom.
Such a radical change is felt everywhere and Luxembourg was no exception. Very quickly – too quickly, according to some – any economic relationship with Russia seemed to have to come to an end. This explains the strong pressure exerted on two former socialist ministers of the economy who sit on the board of East West United Bank (EWUB). Jeannot Krecké and Étienne Schneider lasted two days before throwing in the towel. But not without inspiring this worried tweet from Jean-Paul Olinger, director of the Luxembourg Employers' Association (Union des entreprises luxembourgeoises – UEL).
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