EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sectors in Europe, has pledged to do 'all it can' to assist Ukraine with supply chain disruption linked to the Russian invasion and its fallout.
In a statement, EuroCommerce said, 'The thoughts of Europe’s retailers and wholesalers are with the Ukrainian people.
'Clear Violation of International Law'
'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.'
The group praised the introduction of strong sanctions on Russia following the invasion, 'to show that such illegal action is not without consequences for those initiating it'.
It said that it was joining other business organisations in calling for measures to be coordinated with the US and other partners, adding that the retail sector will support political leaders with measures taken by the EU.
'As Clear As Possible'
'We would ask for these measures to be as clear as possible to give legal certainty to companies having to comply with them,' it said. '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.'
With energy and commodity price increases likely as a result of the conflict, EuroCommerce also said that it was calling on Europe's leaders to explore ways to mitigate the worst effects on Europe’s consumers of ongoing upward inflationary pressures.
Anti-war protests took place in several European cities over the weekend, including Amsterdam (pictured), Berlin, Paris and London.