The thoughts of Europe’s retailers and wholesalers are with the Ukrainian people. We share their deep sorrow at the lives already lost and the damage to their country, as the Russian Federation, in clear violation of international law, continues its unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state wanting to keep its independence and its democracy.
Europe and Ukraine have many ties and the EU needs to reflect this in adopting strong sanctions to show that such illegal action is not without consequences for those initiating it.
We join other business organisations in calling for these measures to be coordinated with the US and other partners. Our sector will support our political leaders in the measures they believe the EU needs to take. We would ask for these measures to be as clear as possible to give legal certainty to companies having to comply with them. The situation is likely to affect our members with operations in Russia and Ukraine, and we would ask for support to our members in looking after their employees in the two countries.
For our part retailers and wholesalers will do all they can, as they did during COVID, to overcome any wider disruption arising from the invasion and its fallout, and to ensure Europe’s citizens continue to have access to their daily essentials.
With energy and other commodity prices likely to rise further, we also call on Europe’s leaders to look at how to mitigate the worst effects on Europe’s consumers of ongoing upward inflationary pressures.