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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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LCCI condemns Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:

“The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that shared prosperity can be achieved through commerce and that peace can be sustained through trade. As part of the community of chambers across the world, and representing one of the greatest of all global cities, we condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the wilful manner in which it has breached international law, and the recklessness with which it has put innocent civilians in mortal danger.

For too long we have allowed Vladimir Putin and the entourage of cronies that keeps his tiny cabal in power to abuse the hospitality that free global trade affords. He and his allies in business have routinely abused London’s openness, professional services, and capital markets, and violated the trust that goes with it. In London we should have been less entranced by the immediate profits of questionable origin this relationship provided. We should have been less wilfully naïve, more alert, transparent, and honest to the problems and horror this would create.

Clearly there are great threats to global supply chains, to the stability of national economies and to commerce generally. But for now, the focus of our government and its allies must be on a credible response the threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Ukraine and the surrounding nations who rightly fear Putin’s unprovoked, illegal aggression. Ultimately we can only build prosperity on a platform of peace and security. The Russian Government believes that geopolitical advantage comes through coercion and violence. Putin’s world view and subsequent action must not carry the day.

As such, business must hold its nerve and extricate itself from Russia’s strategic sectors and reject money from questionable sources. It must prepare for volatile times, it should increase its resilience, and it should seek to keep trade open with allies and friends wherever they are. Our task in the national and global chamber movement is to help business stay in business, to assist them in their planning and to champion their cause and needs. We have to focus on being the engine that will fire the economies of the free world and thus help us all come through dangerous and uncertain times. UK companies must be aware of the cyber threat they will face and take appropriate precautions. But this is a small price compared to far greater one that Ukraine and its people are paying already.

At the same time, we must support those suffering under Putin’s cruel invasion of Ukraine. We in Britain must commit to aiding a sizeable share of the refugees that will flood out of Ukraine. We must be as generous as we hope others would be to us.

We endorse the response of the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, and offer our support of London to the endeavours of the chamber community in the UK and worldwide in confronting this threat to our lives, liberty, and livelihood.”