How Russian Steel Impedes European Industry

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Commentary

Not only does Ukraine suffer from Russian metallurgical products in the form of shells, tanks, and missiles, but also through European manufacturers. The flow of cheap imports of Russian metallurgical semi-finished products, along with astronomical energy prices, is forcing European metallurgists to cut production.

In early autumn, Arcelor was forced to close several factories, including in Germany, due to high energy prices. Russian metal producers, who receive gas and electricity almost for free, easily crowd out European companies on the European market. It is also ironic that record prices for gas and electricity are largely provoked by Russia itself, in such a double blow to the European economy and European producers.

Annually, the Russian federation receives about 5 billion euros from the export of ferrous metals and ores to the EU. The main buyers are Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. In March, the EU introduced the first sanctions against Russian steel products, but they could hardly be considered successful.

The restrictions came into force only in June and affected only a small number of finished products. The main exports — ore, slabs, blanks, and other types of raw materials and semi-finished products — did not fall under the sanctions.

In October, the EU tried to rectify the situation, but again the measures taken by European officials were insufficient.

This year, and at least next year, Russia will be able to earn at least 5 billion euros from the supply of its metal to Europe. And the money will go to the war in Europe. And factories in Europe will be forced to continue to reduce production and lay off people.

Stopping the flow of dumped products from Russia will also be beneficial for the Dunaferr metallurgical enterprise, which provides jobs for thousands of Hungarian citizens.

Why has the EU not limited the supply of metal from Russia so far? After all, this is not oil and gas, which involves every European citizen. The point is the huge lobby of Russian manufacturers, which over the past 10-15 years has managed to strengthen its influence on the European market, have gained levers of pressure on national governments. The EU should deprive the Russian metallurgists of the levers of influence on decision-making.

European manufacturers, including Dunaferr, instead of working with Russia, could establish mutually beneficial cooperation with Ukraine, which is a much more reliable partner than representatives of the country that unleashed a war on the European continent in the 21st century.


Oleksiy Goncharenko is a member of the Ukrainian parliament and Vice President of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


More from The Edge

For Patty Zimmermann, with Revolutionary Love

These words were written for a late-April weekend memorializing Patty Zimmermann, who was Editor-at-Large for The Edge, Director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Professor of Screen Studies at Ithaca College, and a fierce friend and ally.  ...

Finding My Way to Max Tohline’s ‘A Supercut of Supercuts’

We often discover new media fascinations in roundabout ways. In February of 2022, when filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki emailed me to ask if I’d seen Chloé Galibert-Laîné’s “Forensickness” (2022), I had only the vaguest sense of what had come to be called the “video essay.” I...

Complicity and Resistance in a Time of Genocidal Agony

What to Do? I am writing especially thinking about Palestinian women. They have suffered so immeasurably and grotesquely while they have tried to care for their children and their pregnancies, while being malnourished, dehydrated, starved, and heartbroken while death...

The Key to Maintaining Democracy? It’s Conversation.

On January 25th, the Harvard Kennedy School hosted a panel to discuss how candid conversations about  differences in opinion contribute to healthy democracy and social cohesion. The event, which was held on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts,...

Elitism and the Rest of Us as the New Semester Begins

This week, most college and university campuses will open across the country. The ghastly war in Gaza continues and the U.S. has become more involved as it bombs Yemen. So, I am thinking about how unsettled the surround is as higher education institutions begin a new...

War Rape and the Question of Hamas

Israeli Zionist women have been speaking out these last few days to bring attention to the horrific rape of Jewish women, and the lack of outcry of feminists, for them, to this plight. They demand an indictment of Hamas and its sexual treachery towards women on...

The 10 Freeway Has Been Reopened but L.A.’s Transit Problem Remains

During the early hours of November 11, a fire erupted in a storage yard underneath the I-10 freeway near downtown Los Angeles, structurally compromising a large section of the road and resulting in, what was at the time, claimed to be an indefinite closure of the...

From My Body to Yours, and Gaza to the World

A Meditation on Death, Killing, and Possibility I knew my body was healing from the surgery when I found myself ready to engage with the world and posted on Facebook: I am always anti-zionist. And never an antisemite. And always an anti-racist feminist against...