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Regular version of the site

Article

Perception of risks associated with economic sanctions: the case of Russian manufacturing

Post-Soviet Affairs. 2017. Vol. 33. No. 1. P. 49-62.

The paper is focused on assessing the risk factors for Russian manufacturing firms posed by sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU, US, and other countries in 2014. While there is an extensive literature assessing the successes and failures of international sanctions on the economies of both those imposing and targeted by sanctions on a macroeconomic level, we are more interested in trying to understand the corporate response – i.e. which firms evaluate the introduction and increasing scale of economic sanctions as a threat to their corporate strategy, and their possible reactions aimed at adjusting to a changing environment due to the geopolitical shock. Our research, based on a recent survey of manufacturing companies, provides evidence that over the last decade Russian manufacturing firms have become much more integrated into the global economy than is commonly assumed, through foreign direct investment, foreign trade (including imports of both technological equipment and raw materials and components), international partnerships, and by extensively supplying foreign companies that operate in Russia. Considering the self-selection effect of the top-performing firms in terms of foreign trade, we can state that sanctions could prove most harmful not only for the targeted firms, but for the entire population of better-performing and globalized firms involved in foreign trade with the EU and Ukraine. Thus, the impact of the sanctions on the prospects of the Russian manufacturing sector may be very strong over the medium-to-long term.