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Shaken and stirred: Ukraine war hits James Bond's glassmaker
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For the glassmakers at iconic French tableware brand Duralex, the mornings have become a horror show. Daily updates from energy traders drop into their email inboxes, showing the asphyxiating upward climb of prices for the natural gas and electricity that power their energy-devouring business.
Before Europe's energy crisis — which took off after the COVID-19 pandemic and became a full-blown economic threat with Russia's war in Ukraine — the price charts were reassuringly stable. They have since become a terrifying succession of peaks and troughs, with Russia choking off cheap natural gas deliveries in a battle of wills with European leaders over their support for Ukraine.
For Duralex, each price spike represents another bite from the bottom line of the 77-year-old company that counts generations of French families, Mongolian yak herders, Afghan diners and African tea drinkers among worldwide users of its glasses, bowls and plates. Actor Daniel Craig drank from one its "Picardie" tumblers, with a scorpion on his wrist, when playing James Bond in "Skyfall."