As the anniversary approaches, the EU is putting together a latest package of sanctions designed to put economic pressure on Russia. This put the synthetic rubber industry in the spotlight, as Poland—a neighboring nation of Ukraine—called for a ban on SR imports from Russia.
The proposal isn't drawing blanket support from tire makers in Europe. Some tire producers from five European nations that historically have gotten a substantial share of their rubber from Russia oppose the proposed ban. There even were accusations that Polish SR producer Synthos S.A. was supporting the ban to benefit its business.
That's where perspective—particularly from a humanitarian standpoint—comes into focus. Synthos had kept publicly mum about the potential for a ban, until its motives were questioned. You see, Synthos sees the war and its tragedies from a perspective that most others around the world cannot. Its employees, colleagues and local suppliers are hosting Ukrainian refugees, many of them family members.
When it broke its silence, the message was clear and strong. "Synthos has never been ambivalent about its support for Ukraine. However, we understand that our position can only be understood by those who see the effects of the Russian invasion on a daily basis."
It's also a clear picture of why, in times like these, the concerns of business are important and shouldn't be ignored.
But in the end, they must take a back seat to what is happening in human terms.