The Russian assault on Ukraine began in earnest on February 24, 2022. As NATO and countries around the world work together to support Ukraine and pressure Vladimir Putin to cease this unwarranted aggression, the Ukrainian people have shown incredible bravery, resilience, and strength.
What are the war’s ramifications for our industry, as well as the end-use sectors that we support? I spoke on Monday, March 7, with Brad Boelkins of ChemQuest regarding the current situation in Ukraine, potential supply chain impacts, and more.
Listen to the full conversation here, including details regarding possible implications for industries such as electronics, automotive, and aerospace. Excerpts of our discussion are also included below.
Business in Ukraine
I can’t certainly speak to everything in the country, but from contacts that I do have who have family in Ukraine at the moment and from a former employer, business operations, at least to the extent that I’m aware of, primarily have stopped for the most part. Certainly in terms of their personal situation with family still in-country, in his words, “It’s a nightmare.”
Manufacturing in Russia
Certainly what we hear is that [for] manufacturers who are operating in Russia, the stress on supply chains has been made exponentially more difficult by exclusion from the SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication] international interbank payment system. Russian airspace is blocked primarily, and disruptions in a number of the shipping lanes also have slowed the movement of goods, from what I understand anyway, almost perhaps not to zero, but to a trickle and definitely will have an impact on the overall ability to conduct business in-country there.
Oil and Gas Implications
A country I know well and worked and lived in for a fair bit of my career is Germany, Europe’s largest consumer of Russian natural gas, for example. They’ve made the announcement that there is now the distinct possibility that they may be looking at a pretty significant turn in their policy when it comes to energy. Instead of shutting down, over the short term, coal and nuclear power plants, most likely those are going to be extended.
I think overall, a movement to try and reduce what they would say, perhaps, is an overdependence on natural gas and other supplies ex-Russia, they’re certainly going to look to deleverage that as best possible. I’m not sure how fast that could go, but it certainly signals a shift in the thinking, and I think that’s pretty significant.
Note: Opening image courtesy of ffikretow via gettyimages.com.