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German DIHK trade group warns of Russian sanctions fallout

Germany as a leading trading nation is suffering from the adverse effects of sanctions against Russia, the commerce lobby group DIHK has said. Exporters doing business with both Russia and the US are especially hit.

One out of four German export companies was already feeling the pinch of sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) said Monday.

Most adversely affected were

companies doing business with both Russia and the United States

, DIHK foreign trade expert Volker Treier told the German daily newspaper Rheinische Post.

"The different sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union force export companies to evaluate each individual contract separately," Treier said.

About a week ago, EU leaders agreed to escalate sanctions against Russia, imposing for the first time punitive measures on Russian companies and blocking new loans to the country by multilateral lenders. Those measures had been preceded by travel bans and asset freezes on individuals belonging to the inner circle of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Nevertheless, the sanctions adopted by the EU remain less stringent than US restrictions. On Wednesday, the Obama administration effectively shut off longer-term dollar funding for companies close to the Russian government.

Germany, Britain and France agreed on Sunday they should be ready to ratchet up Russian sanctions over

the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane

last week. The crash claimed the lives of 298 passengers and was allegedly shot down by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

uhe/nz (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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