More than a third of German businesses want immediate end to EU sanctions against Russia - poll
MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) - More than a third of German businesses working in Russia want to see an immediate end to EU sanctions against the country, according to a poll conducted by the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce.
The poll, the results of which were seen by Interfax, found that "36% of respondents are in favor of the immediate lifting of economic sanctions without preconditions, which is slightly more than in the previous year."
The poll indicates that more than half of the German companies in Russia are in favor of the gradual lifting of sanctions.
"Given the significance of the EU economic sanctions against Russia as a destructive factor in bilateral economic relations, 57% of the companies surveyed would like to see a gradual lifting of sanctions, subject to certain conditions," the poll found.
As for the long-term outlook, 56% of the respondents said the Russian market was growing in importance for them, 16% said the opposite and 28% did not expect any changes.
The poll found 31% of German companies in Russia thought the new German government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz would seek to improve relations with Russia, 26% expected some improvement in relations and 5% expected significant improvement, while 43% thought relations would stagnate and 26% that they would deteriorate.
Most respondents said the new German government should focus on moving towards the mutual lifting of sanctions as well as visa facilitation.
The survey found that 31% of Germany companies working in the country planned to invest in it in the next 12 months. The priority regions for investment are Moscow, Moscow Region and Krasnodar Territory.
It found that 48% of German companies in Russia assessed their current position as being good, 16% thought the opposite and 36% were satisfied with the state of their affairs in their business in Russia.
Some 40% of German companies are willing to continue hiring staff, four times fewer are thinking of laying off staff and 49% believe their staffing levels will remain unchanged.
The poll was conducted in November among 86 German companies in Russia with more than 50,000 employees and anticipated turnover of more than 14 billion euros in 2021.