The Jump in German Exports to Russia’s Neighbours

Lately at A Rich Life we have been noting how British luxury car manufacturers have continued exporting their wares to Russia-adjacent Azerbaijan in an effort to dodge anti-Russia sanctions. But it wouldn’t be fair to the Brits to leave one of the worst offenders out of the story: Germany.

The chart below illustrates how blatant the sanctions dodging out of Germany has been. There are clear jumps in all of the Central Asian nations’ exports from Germany, and these are implausible unless we assume these shipments are destined for Russia.

In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, there was a lot of talk about the potential of shutting Russia out of international markets for electronics and computing materials that are needed for a modern, hi-tech military. This may be so, but the war in Ukraine has turned out to be fought in a more old-school fashion than many anticipated. Vehicles, other machinery, and spare parts are the “nuts and bolts” of each side’s advance and defence across the broad territory of Ukraine, and Russian industry has been receiving a helping hand from its supposed enemies in the EU in this regard.

“The core of the problem is that expecting private sector actors to shoulder the burden of cutting all links to Russia, on moral grounds alone, was ill-advised,” say geopolitical analysts GIS. “Without stringent controls to ensure compliance by all, material self-interest was bound to lead to some breaking of ranks.”

But when capital has flouted the spirit of various laws for decades, it’s hard to imagine corporate compliance being turned on at the flick of a switch.

Of course, the issue isn’t entirely one of unscrupulous companies. EU governments carved out an exception for Russian hydrocarbons from the sanctions that have meant that the EU has paid more money for Russian oil and gas over the past two years than it has given to Ukraine in monetary aid.

These are sure to be key factors that future historians point to if Russia ends up enforcing its will upon Ukraine.

Thumbnail image courtesy @robsonhmorgan via Unsplash.

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