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UK Business Leader Flays EU sanctions on Russia: Rues British jobs Are Hit

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By Kalyan Kumar | August 5, 2014 9:50 AM EST

The frustration among the UK businesses over hasty economic sanctions on Russia is coming out in the open, reported The Telegraph. In an outburst against the EU sanctions, UK's most influential businessmen Lord Bamford hit out at the European Union for what he called ill-conceived sanctions that are hitting the British jobs.

REUTERS
Senior Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Borodai (C) speaks during a handover of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17's black boxes to Colonel Mohamed Sakri (R) of the Malaysian National Security Council, in Donetsk July 22, 2014. The remains of some of the 298 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine were making their way to the Netherlands on Tuesday as Borodai handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.

Lord Bamford is the chairman of JCB. He said sanctions "coming out of Brussels" were threatening the future of JCB, which is a major exporter to Russia and a market leader in construction equipments.

Hard Hitting Sanctions

The EU governments are trying to hit Russia with economic sanctions after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17. The sanctions are targeting Russia's vital sectors of oil, defence, financial services, consumer goods and sensitive technologies.

Russia is the E.U's third largest trading partner, behind China and the United States. European Union was a net importer of Russia's oil and gas. Europe's dependence on Russia for energy needs may make more vulnerable in the days to come.

Bamford's reaction vindicates Russia's claim that the sanctions are going to hurt the proponents more and the repercussions are going to be felt across the European Union and its businesses.

Russia an important market

Lord Bamford described Russia as an important market for JCB with more than of 30 years of relations. If the sanctions are going to restrict the sales of machines and spare parts, JCB feels hundreds of its British jobs will be at risk. JCB has reason to be worried that only a few months ago it opened the largest dealer depot in the world at the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.

Germany worried

Equally worried is the German businesses. Germany's finance minister is on record that peace in Ukraine is intertwined with the progress in EU. The Cologne Institute for Economic Research forecasts that German exports to Russia have fallen 17 percent in 2014, compared to 2013.

EU may go soft

Meanwhile NBC News reports that the reality of EU sanctions on Russia is staring at EU leaders. There are reasons to assume that Europe may go soft on future sanctions against Moscow. EU -Russia trade is already 10 times greater than U.S.-Russia trade. So the worry of losing Russian market is sweeping across the shop floors and boardrooms of the European Union.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Maxim Zmeyev)
Senior Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Borodai (C) speaks during a handover of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17's black boxes to Colonel Mohamed Sakri (R) of the Malaysian National Security Council, in Donetsk July 22, 2014. The remains of some of the 298 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine were making their way to the Netherlands on Tuesday as Borodai handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.
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