Italian shoemakers ‘damaged’ by EU sanctions on Russia
Image © The Official CTBTO Photostream
Strained relations between the EU and Moscow have contributed to a 20 per cent cut in Russian imports of Italian shoes, according to Italy’s footwear industry association, Assocalzaturifici. The body is reported to have written to the Union’s foreign policy chief, urging consideration of economic effects before any more sanctions are introduced. The EU has imposed economic sanctions since the Russian government’s annexation of Crimea in March and the period of unrest that has followed. In turn, Moscow has reacted by taking measures against a number of imports from the EU.
Assocalzaturifici claims that although neither side has specifically targeted footwear, Italian shoe exports have still been affected as consumers in Russia are buying fewer costly foreign goods. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has the task of mediating between member states pushing for deeper sanctions and others favouring a softer stance. Assocalzaturifici president, Cleto Sagripanti, has offered to share data with Ms Mogherini, and has requested a meeting to discuss how the EU can help address what he termed ‘this enormous challenge for our industry’. Mr Sagripanti has stated that he appreciates geo-political issues, but argues that the EU cannot ignore the impact the crisis is having on businesses in Europe.
Italian footwear exports to Russia during the first six months of 2014 are said to have fallen by 17.5 per cent in volume and 21.4 per cent in value compared with the same period in 2013.
Photograph shows EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
This article was originally published on page 2 of the February 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.