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How important is Russia to Germany?

Tom Bristow · 3 Apr 2014, 10:39

Published: 03 Apr 2014 10:39 GMT+02:00

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Figures released by the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) on Thursday showed ten percent of all German exporters traded with Russia.

For three-quarters of these firms, selling goods to Russia made up around a quarter of their total exports.

Russian trade is concentrated in the hands of a few companies because it is dominated by raw materials and energy, Destatis said.

Only one percent of German importers bought Russian goods, the office found.

But for those which did import from Russia, the country was a very important trading partner for them.

“The dependence on Russia for these firms is admittedly high,” Destatis said in a statement.

Around half of Russian imports to Germany are from firms where Russia counts for at least three-quarters of all its imports.

Destatis released the figures while the debate around economic sanctions on Russia continues.

Germany has been criticized for being reluctant to impose tough sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, as it is deemed an important trading partner.

But according to the German Foreign Office trade between the two countries declined by five per cent in 2013 to €76.5 billion - it was €80.5 billion in 2012.

German exports to Russia were worth €36.1 billion and German imports from Russia €40.4 billion.

The most important destinations for German exports

That made Russia Germany’s eleventh biggest export market and seventh most important importer, according to Destatis.

Russia’s main exports to Germany were oil and natural gas, with around a third of German gas imports coming from the country.

The most important origins of German imports

And Germany’s main exports to Russia were vehicles and chemical products as well as food and agricultural produce, the foreign office said.

In 2013, investment by German companies in Russia was valued at €16 billion.

SEE ALSO: Energy minister says 'no alternative' to Russian gas

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Bristow (tom.bristow@thelocal.com)

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