EU companies made €9.4 million from selling cut flowers to Russia in 2022, with the majority of those flowers coming from the Netherlands.
Major Dutch flower exporters are struggling with the same decision that other European companies are struggling with whether to keep sending their products to Russia even if they are not sanctioned because it goes against the EU’s sanctions policy.
Even though food and drink exports are unaffected by sanctions, The Absolut Company earlier in April decided to cease exports of its Absolut vodka to Russia with immediate effect in response to social media outcry, particularly in Sweden.
60% of the world’s flower trade is accounted for by the Netherlands.
More than 80% of all flower exports from the EU to Europe come from the Netherlands.
The European Union released its ‘Restrictive measures given Russia’s activities destabilizing the situation in Ukraine’ on April 8, 2022, preventing EU member states from exporting flower bulbs and nursery stock items to Russia.
With the added benefit of being able to nurture them, Russians may be able to profit from plants or shrubs, although cut flowers have a short shelf life and are therefore not prohibited.
Despite repeated rounds of EU sanctions making trade tough, the Russian flower business is nonetheless thriving.
Even though Dutch flower exports to Russia are not exactly secret, producers are not making a special effort to attract media attention to the trade. The Dutch government is spending its own money to purchase Leopard 2 main combat tanks for the Ukrainian military even if they are profiting from Russia.