Compliance with the sanctions of Western countries, which have been tightened several times, poses a problem for companies in Germany with business contacts to Russia. For two out of three companies (64 percent), identifying affected business partners, product groups and services and complying with import and export controls are the most important biggest challenge, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the auditing firm KPMG.

"Since the sanctions were decided at very short notice and gradually tightened, there are regulatory gaps and scope for interpretation," said KMPG board member Mattias Schmelzer.

"Due to the EU sanctions, many companies have had to adapt their operating processes and control systems, some of which involve a high proportion of manual work."

Half of the 280 companies surveyed export goods and services to Russia, and almost one in three to Ukraine.

Around a quarter even have their own production facilities in Russia.

According to the information, there is great uncertainty among managers about the specific effects of the war on their own company.

"The indirect consequences for the entire German economy are having an even greater impact than the direct consequences of the war for companies active in and with Russia and Ukraine," said Schmelzer.

The delivery bottlenecks and rising purchase prices affect almost every industry and every company.

Almost every second company surveyed expects a drop in sales as a result of the Ukraine war, and just as many expect a drop in earnings.

At the same time, 40 percent are currently unable to assess how the war will affect their business.

Four out of ten also expect negative effects at least for the next three years.

"The picture is likely to darken significantly again if extensive sanctions are actually imposed on Russian oil and possibly also gas or related delivery stops by Russia," said KPMG expert Andreas Glunz.