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Georgia har svekket utenlandske investorers tillit til Russland, men samtidig er Russland en så viktig handelspartner, at land som Tyskland ugjerne legger seg ut med Moskva. Tallene er formidable. Tysk eksport steg 50 % i første halvår til 290 milliarder dollar.

Even if the conflict widens, it’s unlikely that Western countries will try to impose economic sanctions on Russia—a step that would have major consequences for their own economies. German exports to Russia rose more than 50% in the first half of 2008, to $290 billion, an indication of how important a market Russia has become. «Russia is a very strong country in terms of economic development,» says Christian Dreger, an economist at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. «It helps compensate for weaker growth in other regions.»

Europe Grapples with Russia-Georgia Woes
Companies hope for a swift resolution, but with energy supplies at risk, the fighting might spur the West to seek other gas and oil sources

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