Richard Branson, British entrepreneur and the founder of the Virgin Group, states in his article "My Thoughts on Ukraine and Russia" that the tension between these countries has attracted the attention of business leaders all over the world. He stresses that "never in recent years has there been a greater risk of an all-out war on European soil" and calls on global business to work together to protect Ukraine's sovereignty.
According to Branson, the Kremlin needs to be made clear that the global business community will not tolerate its aggression and "support the full range of sanctions against any country that tries to violate the sovereignty of another."
Any escalation between the two neighboring countries will have "devastating and terrible consequences," he states.
"Firstly, it will further isolate Russia and its president from the rest of the world and destroy the Russian economy. And, of course, it will cause great harm and suffering to people, young and old, who are trying to live in peace on either side of the border. As so often, it will be the civilian population that will bear the brunt of the aggression. Syria’s bloody civil war, in which Russian troops and mercenaries have been playing a terrible role, is a stark reminder of what’s at stake," Branson points out.
The Virgin Group founder stresses that President Vladimir Putin will not be able to emerge victorious from a new round of conflict. However, he adds that, obviously, the head of the Russian Federation does not care much what the rest of the world thinks about his ambitions.
"He should care a great deal what the future prospect for his own country will be. At some point, ordinary Russians will come to realise that they deserve better," Brenson writes.
Context. The United States believes that Russia is ready to attack Ukraine at any point. One of the possible options is an invasion during the Russian-Belarusian military exercises.
Great Britain shares the opinion of the United States. The country's authorities stressed that the Kremlin had a plan for a blitzkrieg, during which Kyiv could be seized. However, the country believes that this scenario can be averted.
The Ukrainian authorities state that the situation is under control and Ukrainians have no reasons to panic.