Lawyer Monthly - May 2022

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine n the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times estimated global trade as having fallen 2.8%. How far does this qualify as a ‘black swan event’ for the international economy? This ties in perfectly with what I mentioned earlier. The international response in the aftermath of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, its uniqueness in decision-making by the international community and the speed that followed had undoubtedly been completely underestimated. However, the resulting consequences are obviously eminently harmful due to the increased globalisation that governs international economic relations today. The ban on access to the SWIFT network – even if it spared the banking institutions on which international trade is more dependent – has put a sharp and brutal brake on global economic flows. In addition to the United States, it should be remembered that the sanctions taken by the European Union in financial and commercial matters have been strong: limitation of access to the primary and secondary capital markets of the EU for certain Russian banks and companies, a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank and the Central Bank of Belarus, a ban on supplying banknotes denominated in euros to Russia and Belarus, prohibition of any public financing or investment in Russia and even prohibition of investing in projects cofinanced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and of contributing to them. The European Union has also banned coal imports from Russia, exports of goods and technologies in the oil refining sector to Russia and new investments in the Russian energy sector. The impact on global transport and cargo has also been particularly significant, with the closure of EU airspace to all Russianowned and Russian-registered aircraft, the closure of EU ports to shipping 16 MAY 2022 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM First, because the economic reason, a fortiori in the case of an entity of tens of thousands of employees, requires reasoning as a captain of industry, and not as a philanthropist or a conscientious objector. To blame entities, decried for not having ceased their activities in Russia, is to establish an unhealthy connection with any political endorsement of the decisions taken by the authorities. companies, the ban on Russian and Belarusian road hauliers from entering EU territory and the ban on exports to Russia of goods and technologies in the aviation, maritime and space sectors. Russia’s responsive sanctions obviously had a particularly big impact as well. It is the whole of world trade that has been impacted. Though there has been a mass departure of multinational businesses from Russia, several – accounting for as many as 188,000 Russian employees – are continuing their operations. What would your advice be to companies uncertain about the consequences of a move away from Russia? It is always extremely complex to weigh the pros and cons of leaving a country, even for good ideological reasons. “ It is always extremely complex to weigh the pros and cons of leaving a country, even for good ideological reasons. I

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