The dissolution of the Soviet Union is arguably one of the greatest geopolitical disasters of human history. It resulted in the rise of ethnic nationalism and ethnic based conflicts across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Many of the new countries had mixed Russian and local population and after centuries of repression under the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union, tensions were high. This is the basic history behind the current war in Ukraine.
Russia is backing the anti Ukrainian forces with both financial and military aide. As a result many European Union members have levied sanctions against Russia which have the potential to hurt all parties involved. As the 6th largest exporter of steel there is a massive gap that will need to be filled and this is where China can not only make a vast amount of profit, but also improve relations with the EU.
The economic recovery in the EU is fragile at best and any major shock could end the recovery and cause a recession. This is of particular concern in Europe where many nations are dependent on Russia for their raw materials and mineral resources. As many EU members want to limit their dependence on Russia, China is presented with a great opportunity to become Europe’s new de facto supplier of raw building materials.
China and the EU are becoming more interdependent on each other and adding Chinese steel to the equation will only increase economic cooperation. Furthermore, as Russian sanctions begin to take affect all over Europe the governments of these regions will most certainly be grateful to any nation that helps them avoid another economic crisis.
Shanghai Metal Corporation has been following the developments in Eastern Europe closely and with great concern. We take the economic health of the EU and the world as a whole very seriously. One of our main products is structural steel and it will be an honour to supply the EU if and when the need arises.
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Pictures: telegraph.co.uk, thevirtualtravelers.com, ukrainetrek.com, newsweek.com, ibtimes.com