Putin’s Russia Could Tighten Import Ban On EU Car Makers
Industry News
As Russia’s mindless hand over fist invasion of Eastern Ukraine continues so has the amount of sanctions being leveled against it. Russia may well target retaliatory sanctions against Western nations and the car industry looks like the first big target. Reports from Russian news media suggest an import ban on cars against the US and the European Union could be imposed, but foreign car makers with production facilities already established and trading within Russia would remain relatively unaffected. Premium auto brands like Mercedes, Volvo and Land Rover would be hit hard because these cars are imported. Automaker’s already operating in Russia include Toyota, Ford, VW, Renault, Hyundai. Russia has been accused of backing and arming separatist fighters in Eastern Ukraine, Moscow has denied this but Western governments are concerned at the destabilising effect the crisis in Ukraine is having on the region as a whole. Putin’s mindset is still cemented in the cold war era, the former KGB agent sees Ukraine as having historical links to Russia. Ukraine wants to join the EU and sever links with the Kremlin but the territory is seen as being strategically import for Moscow, acting as a buffer zone for what Russia sees as Western imperialism. The EU has already imposed sanctions on Russia’s energy and financial institutions as well imposing travel bans on key individuals within Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Russia has hit back but its actions have been limited by halting imports of food products and with organised boycotts of fast food chain, McDonalds. News media inside Russia have claimed the Kremlin may begin to impose either a part ban or a full ban on cars which are imported from countries engaged with backing sanctions against it. Car sales in Russia have dropped by 5.5 percent to 2.6 million last year, the Ukraine crisis and a weak ruble may well have more dire effects than sanctions as industry analysts predict the market could decline from a 1.6 percent to a 12 percent drop for this year.  Putins-Russia
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