World and corporate leaders should look for alternative business partners to minimize the fallout from trade barriers that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin may erect against countries that impose trade sanctions against his nation in response to his ill-conceived plot to send Russian fighters into neighboring Ukraine.
Former KGB agent Putin has proven that he cannot be trusted and his willingness to adopt foreign policies that are detrimental to the economic interests of his people are telling. Nor will his legacy as Russia’s leader escape damage in the wake of his support of armed gunman from his country who infiltrated Ukraine to help seize land militarily, as well as reportedly used a surface-to-air missile to shoot down a civilian commercial aircraft that led to the deaths of 298 passengers and crew.
Putin’s heavy-handed foreign policies and attempts to retaliate against western governments seeking to discourage Russia’s wanton disregard the sovereignty of a border country should steer businesses to find non-Russian partners. Such searches will take time but they are worth pursuing, since the political risk of operating in Russia or striking deals with Russian companies is rising under Putin’s reign.