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German exports to Russia take a dive amid Ukraine conflict

German shipments to Russia have plunged sharply as the standoff between the West and Moscow over Ukraine drags on. The latest figures revealed that producers of car parts and machinery were hit particularly hard.

The value of German exports to Russia dropped by 15.5 percent to 15.3 billion euros ($20.6 billion) in the first half of 2014, the German national statistics office (Destatis) reported on its website Wednesday.

German companies making vehicles and car parts experienced a staggering 24.4-percent slump in exports to Russia, while the fall in machinery shipments there was 18.7 percent from January to June.

The steep drop was a result sanctions and counter-sanctions levied by the West and Russia against each other as their standoff over Ukraine intensified.

Losses almost across the board

Exports of cars and automotive spare parts have traditionally made up about a fifth of German exports to Russia.

The industry could be dealt a further blow, if in the months ahead Russia lives up to media reports which have said Moscow is

mulling a ban on car imports

. It would particularly hurt foreign auto makers which do not have any production facilities in Russia itself.

In the first six months of the year, mutual sanctions also affected German exporters of electrical equipment, data processing machines, metal products, pharmaceutical goods, paper, textiles and clothing, Destatis reported.

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