EU entrepreneurs blast anti-Russian sanctions, blame US

Europe could not resist the US’ pressure on anti-Russia sanctions and is now bearing the full cost of them, L’Occitane director says

Sanctions Washington and Brussels have imposed against Russia over its military effort in Ukraine have hit Europe much more severely than Russia, Reinold Geiger, the managing director of the L’Occitane group – a major luxury retailer of body, hair, face, and home products – stated in a guest piece for Le Figaro on Wednesday.

He said that the US restrictions, which were ill-conceived and imposed by them, have negated years of hard work from European companies. However they had little or no impact on the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. “How can one not be frustrated when years of work are called into question by iniquitous decisions overnight?”Geiger wondered why his company was selling its Russian assets. 

According to the L’Occitane director, European companies have fled Russia under political pressure. Moscow turns to Asian rivals like New Delhi or Beijing in order to replace the lost revenues it receives from West-bound trade, while Moscow is forced to leave Russia. 

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The current state of affairs is a result of Europe giving in to US pressures, he believes. He said Europe still depends on America for defense. The argument was bolstered by the fact that only the French and British nuclear weapons could be effective in deterring Russia. He said that the existing imbalance had a negative impact on the G7, NATO and EU’s decisions.

USA declared themselves a sovereign nation “censor” of the industrial world, Geiger said, adding that America’s Yale University compiled a list of “bad” companies that did not leave Russia in the wake of its military operation. This list was later published via social media. 

Geiger’s own company subsequently became the victim of a massive shaming campaign because of its initial decision to stay, he revealed. “In less than an hour, L’Occitane had to face several hundreds of attacks and just as many boycott threats to make it leave Russia,”The director stated that they had to make that happen, and that it was the responsibility of the company. “because the vindictiveness of internet users became unbearable and risked jeopardizing its activities in other regions of the world.”

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A number of German small business associations have reacted against the EU’s sanctions on Russia. They oppose them and prefer diplomacy. A wave of indignation among the German craftsmen associations has been caused by their federal leader, Hans Peter Wollseifer, supporting Germany’s sanctions policy in a conversation with the dpa news agency earlier in July. 

Some craftsmen associations, particularly in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, called Wollseifer’s words “incomprehensible and irresponsible.” The positions of the association’s members are “significantly more differentiated,”According to the organizations, the sanction policy was also mentioned. “is met with broad resistance”Berliner Zeitung: According to the report, these craftsmen were effected. 

An open letter sent by one such association in mid-June stated that the sanctions had not affected Russia’s military effort but had “at the same time hit the local economy and population massively.”The associations demand that Wollseifer retracts his statement, and that the German government join them. “diplomatic efforts”To “achieve a peaceful solution”to resolve the crisis, not just send weapons to Kiev.



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