Europe Remains Russia’s Faithful Business Partner

After Russia invaded Ukraine, everyone agreed it would need to be stopped through economic sanctions. But a new study conducted by Swiss management school imd Institute and University of St. Gallen found these sanctions are not completely enforced. European Union and G-7 firms have retreated from Russia in a very limited way since the start of the war in February 2022. Russia’s war continues to be financed and enabled through those firms. Germany leads the shameful list of businesses remaining in Russia.

  • The study examined 1,404 EU and G-7 companies, with 2,405 subsidiaries, active in Russia at the time of the invasion.
  • Only 9 percent of EU and G-7 companies have left Russia; this percentage is raised by nearly 18 percent of American subsidiaries (a member of the G-7) that have ceased operations in Russia. Only 120 of these companies had divested at least one of their subsidiaries in Russia.
  • According to the research, 19.5 percent of the EU and G-7 companies still doing business in Russia are German-owned, 12.4 percent are American-owned, and 7 percent are owned by Japanese multinationals.
  • The study reveals that it’s not just China, India and other Asian countries that fuel Russia’s war in Ukraine, but also the self-proclaimed moral superpower of Europe.

“In effect, many firms headquartered in these nations have resisted pressures from governments, the media and ngos [nongovernmental organizations] to leave Russia since the invasion of Ukraine,” the study concludes.

A paradox: The United States and Europe have spent billions in financial and military aid for Ukraine. At the same time, they have allowed their businesses to continue operating in Russia, which nullifies their efforts.

A tragic example: Almost a year after the invasion and thousands of Ukrainian deaths, Wintershall Dea, Germany’s largest mineral oil company, announced on January 17 that it will end its controversial business in Russia. Three days prior to this announcement, a Russian missile struck a residential building in the city of Dnipro in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 45 civilians and leaving many missing. Experts believe the missile was launched from a combat aircraft that took off from a Russian base supplied with jet fuel that was reportedly produced from a raw material sourced from one of Wintershall Dea’s Russian joint ventures. Thus, Germany may very well have directly fueled the Russian war machine. Only after much criticism was the decision announced.

It is the free decision of Wintershall Dea and other raw materials companies that have been operating in Russia for 11 months to stay in Russia and sacrifice hundreds of people for profits. Tacit cooperation with the Russian terrorist regime is a war crime. We are convinced that there is Ukrainian blood on Wintershall’s hands.
—Switlana Romanko, Ukrainian ngo Razom We Stand

The role of German businessmen and industrialists in coming prophesied conflicts is explained in “Rising From the German Underground.”