ATHENS, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Kastoria, a city in northern Greece, has been a bustling center of the fur trade for generations. However, its fur industry has been hit hard by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as it is heavily reliant on exports to Russia.
Under the European Union's (EU) sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, fur is listed among the luxury goods that can no longer be exported to Russia since March 14.
Akis Tsoukas, president of the Hellenic Fur Federation, says there are about 2,000 fur-related businesses in the area, and the local economy has lost approximately 200 million euros (212 million U.S. dollars) in the past two months alone.
Thousands of orders have been canceled and Russian clients cannot even pay off past dues. The first exhibition in three years local furriers were planning for this May has now been postponed to late summer.
For customers worldwide, Kastoria has been synonymous with Greek furs of high quality. Fur processing and trade in the region date back centuries.
Giannis Korentsidis, Kastoria's mayor, says half of the city's 35,000 residents are working directly in fur farming and trade, and about 40 percent are indirectly linked to the industry.
Speaking of the current crisis, the mayor says he could not but remain optimistic.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service