OSWIECIM, Poland—As the one-year anniversary of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine approaches, the talk of synthetic rubber trade has become a front-burner issue.
The European Union is poised to announce a new round of sanctions against Russia to coincide with the Feb. 24 marking of the one-year start of the war. And multiple press reports—including the Polish Press Agency—say that Poland has been lobbying for the EU to impose a ban on Russian imports of synthetic rubber to be among the new sanctions.
Further, some have accused Oswiecim-based Synthos S.A. of lobbying for the SR imports ban as a way to increase prospects for its own business with European tire makers. There also were accusations that Synthos had timed the restart of production of butadiene rubber at its factory in Schkopau, Germany, in March, shortly after the proposed SR imports sanctions could take effect.
A Synthos spokeswoman confirmed to Rubber News that Poland has requested the ban on Russian imports of synthetic rubber, and that Synthos had lobbied for the sanctions. But the firm said the imminent recommissioning of the German facility is not related to the potential ban.
She said the SR producer previously kept quiet on media coverage of Russian sanctions in conjunction with Synthos, but believes it is important to comment now with the recent allegations.
Given Poland's position as a bordering nation to Ukraine, the Polish SR producer has been a strong supporter of its neighbor since the war began.