Finnish economy suffers the most
Finnish business leaders say that the tit-for-tat trade embargoes have had a much broader effect on confidence.
"The message we're hearing from businesses is concerning," said Timo Vuori of the Finnish Chambers of Commerce. "There's a fear that this is getting even worse. The sanctions' effect is not only on those sectors directly affected, but it's more of a feeling of economic uncertainty connected to Finland's, the EU's and Russia's relations."
The Chambers' fear is that as the EU tightens the sanctions regime, Russian counter-sanctions could also target machinery and devices that are important Finnish exports.
"Russian partners might postpone projects and say to the Finnish contractor that we should take a bit of a timeout," said Vuori. "At the same time, the Finnish exporter might begin to consider whether this sale will happen at all, should we seek another market to avoid having to write it off as a loss." ■