A new poll conducted by the ČSOB bank for the Czech News Agency suggests that a majority of Czech companies – just under 70 percent – consider sanctions against Russia by the European Union and the US the right course of action. In mid-September ČSOB questioned more than 500 domestic companies.
The same percentage, as it happens, agreed that losses as a result of Russian repercussions were not drastic, making them easier to swallow to try and help Ukraine. The EU, as well as the United States, introduced several waves of increasingly strident sanctions following Russia’s annexation in Crimea, as well as violence that escalated in the eastern Ukraine. A fragile ceasefire has more or less held with an exception being fighting over the airport in Donetsk and many analysts attributed a recent slowdown in aggression as evidence the sanctions were working. Curiously, the latest survey reveals that some fifty percent of companies would welcome even tougher measures, the executive director of the bank’s Corporate Banking section Petr Manda said.
Companies are not united whether firms that have suffered losses as a result of sanctions should see recompense from the state. Fifty-five percent came out against, but firms where business was directly affected said stated the opposite. Three-quarters of firms agreed with at least one of the government's proposals aimed at easing the impact of the sanctions.
The EU sanctions in place target the capital market, military industry, dual-use goods and sensitive technology for the extraction of crude oil. Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek said in August that EU sanctions against Russia would cost Czech companies around 2.2 billion crowns and put around 700 jobs at risk. Russian counter-measures, meanwhile, are expected to cause a 300 million crown shortfall in sales, threatening around 130 jobs.
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