Sanctions and counter-sanctions ratcheted up last week in the increasingly tense standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine. Following the annexation of Crimea by Russia and its alleged support for rebels in eastern Ukraine, Canada and other governments issued successive proscriptions against doing business with Russia. In reply, Russia barred imports of Western food, including Canada’s for a year. It is complicating further sanctions, such as barring European airlines from transiting Russian airspace.
It gets worse. If you do business in the U.S., European Union, Australia or Japan, you’ll need to consult their sanctions lists as well before shipping goods to Russia or other sanctioned nations. The Americans may file civil charges as well as criminal ones if you do business south of the border as well as trade with forbidden Russian entities. Plus there is inevitable reputation damageâ€”no one wants to see news stories about how their company was selling to people who may have played a role in the downing of a Malaysian airliner.