Sanctions, cooperation, and innovation: Insights into Russian economy and implications for Russian firms

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The aim of this paper is to reveal the effects of sanctions at the firm level, with the special attention to cooperation and innovation activity of sanctioned firms. Specifically, the differences between domestic and international companies in their ability to adapt to the sanctions in terms of their cooperation with partners and capability to innovate are discussed. The study argues that firms operating in international markets tend to prioritize product innovation and entering new markets to overcome negative consequences of sanctions. In addition, they are more likely to improve their products and to find new markets to compensate for losses and fill their unused capacities. An important finding having both managerial and political value is that operating in the international market may not necessarily provide an advantage in terms of new partners in the local market but rather facilitate the search for new foreign markets. Inviting the government to provide assistance for Russian domestic and international firms on an equal basis, we admit that with varying degrees of control and interest in national firms, the Russian government can help sanctioned companies in different ways, regardless the scale of their internationalization. The study contributes to the literature on the impact of economic sanctions at the firm-level and in the context of the domestic market of the sanctioned country.

JEL classification: F02, F23, F42.
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