Sanctions imposed on Russia have resulted in many EU-based companies losing access to one of the world’s largest markets. According to EU data, Russia was the EU’s fifth largest trading partner, with 5.8% of goods exchanged.
In 2021, the total exchange of goods between the EU and Russia amounted to 257.5 billion euros. EU exports amounted to €99 billion. The largest share were:
- Machinery and equipment: €19.5 billion – 19.7 percent
- Motor vehicles: €8.95 billion – nine percent
- Pharmaceutical products: €81 billion – 8.1 percent
- Electrical equipment and machinery: €7.57 billion – 7.6 percent
- Plastics: €4.38 billion – 4.3 percent
Judging by this data, European industry found itself in an unenviable position due to the sanctions against Russia.
Another obstacle to recovery is the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States of America, which European politicians believe could harm EU companies and economies.
In January, Thierry Breton said the EU must react like it did during the pandemic crisis and that partners must guarantee an “adequate response” to protect the industry and maintain a level playing field both in the EU and globally.
Germany’s chief economic adviser, Monika Schnitzer, said Europe’s first economy should diversify its international business partners and focus on new regions. As she said then, the EU needs to position itself strategically.