German investments in Russia highest in decade despite Western sanctions

Investments by German businesses in the Russian economy exceeded €3 billion in 2018, marking the highest level since before the financial crisis more than a decade ago, according to the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce.

“Despite Western sanctions along with Russias retaliatory measures the volume of investments by German corporations into the Russian economy last hit a record high in 2008,” the German trade lobby said in a statement.

The chairman of the chamber Matthias Schepp highlighted that apart from substantial investment in projects such as the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, Russias market offers great opportunities for German small and medium-sized businesses.

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“Companies that are well aware of the Russian market are not in a hurry to be afraid of sanctions and political problems,” Schepp said.

According to the statement, the total volume of financial inflows from German investors in 2018 amounted to €3.2 billion, exceeding the forecasts by the Deutsche Bundesbank that expected the figure to reach a maximum level of €2.1 billion.

The peak of active German investments in Russia was seen from 2006 through the financial crisis of 2008, with the all-time record of €7.8 billion reached in 2007. Back then, the sharp increase in financial inflows was triggered by massive investments into the countrys energy sector thanks to a large-scale €4.6 billion deal clinched by Dusseldorf-based energy company Uniper.

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