Retailer Metro AG sells groceries to Russians.
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As the European Union steps up its response to Russian president Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea, German companies are urging caution lest sanctions harm their business ties – and Europe's shaky economic recovery.Bilateral trade between the two countries hit 77 billion euros ($106 billion) last year, and German investment in Russia totals 20 billion euros, according to the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce.Germany's gross domestic product could fall by 0.5 percentage points if Russia's economy were to contract by 8.6 percent, they said – a decline that's "obviously quite extreme, but not unprecedented" in Russia's volatile post-Soviet history.Rival Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, sold about 287,000 cars in Russia last year, accounting for 3.2 percent of its global sales.Adidas and Siemens declined to comment.About 35 percent of German gas imports come from Russia, according to Morgan Stanley.French companies such as Renault SA, Danone and Alstom SA have built large Russian operations.
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