European producers have barely suffered from the loss of the Russian market, Deutsche Welle writes, citing a study by Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies CEPS in Brussels.
The expert claims, in particular, that with the embargo, Russian government has cut off its country from cheap food suppliers, and also, the purchasing power of Russian consumers has dropped as a result of sanctions.
According to data provided by Gros, the volume of European exports to Russia has decreased, but only because the volume of Russian imports has dropped. This is due to the fact that the recession began in Russia due to low oil prices at the same period.
“Food exports were the only EU sector to suffer slightly more from the countersanctions. But we can see that European producers are obviously highly flexible, as total EU food exports didn't decline. This indicates that European producers have compensated elsewhere for the loss of the Russian market. That is probably why the cost of countersanctions to the European economy was practically nothing," Gros said.
The expert further confirmed that, from an economic point of view, the EU can easily afford to continue a harsh economic course of action against Russia.
“The European economy is more than 10 times bigger than Russia's, and it is much more flexible. It has a very strong industrial basis. Russia's exports amount to oil, gas and a few other raw materials. Russia is undoubtedly an interesting market for Europe, but it is a secondary one and doesn't play a decisive role in the survival and growth of the European economy," the expert stated.
Gros also believes that Nord Stream 2 is not a deal that is important for Germany. Germany is quite able to do without it, as the first pipeline “is not even being used to full capacity".
Earlier, on July 26 in Brussels, the ambassadors of the EU countries agreed to expand the anti-Russian sanctions list after the scandal with Siemens gas turbines imported into the occupied Crimea regardless of sanctions and contracts.