Als President Putin ordered the attack on Ukraine at the end of February, the western world was first shocked and then outraged. Economic sanctions by Americans and Europeans against Russia followed, which went hand in hand with the general demand that Western companies should no longer be allowed to do business with the country of the aggressor. Who wants to fill the coffers of the warlord in the Kremlin?
Since then, it has been shown, not only on the import side, by the example of various raw materials, how difficult it is to quickly cut established ties in a networked global economy. Even the withdrawal from the Russian market often cannot be managed overnight. Not least because of public pressure, many Western manufacturers have stopped selling their products there.
But there are many borderline cases: pharmaceutical manufacturers point to the dependency of the civilian population and continue to make good money. Even with consumer goods manufacturers, this argument is questionable. And even if Apple no longer sells iPhones in downtown Moscow, software updates continue to be installed. To protect privacy, it is said - also from dissidents. a mistake?
Even more difficult are the decisions about own production facilities in the country. The sword of Damocles of expropriation hovers over them. Concerns about Russian employees have also been growing in Western headquarters since the recent partial mobilization. Soon they could be armed at the front. Can managers in the west be denied the care for their employees?
So difficult the decisions to withdraw from Russia may be in detail - the partial mobilization has increased the pressure on western companies again. Anyone who continues to do business with Putin or counts on the current regime coming to an end soon is taking a considerable business risk.