Eurochambres/Chambers Ireland statement on the Ukraine crisis

Following last night’s European Council summit on the Ukraine crisis, the President of Eurochambres, Luc Frieden, convened an extraordinary meeting of the Eurochambres Board of Directors this morning (25 February 2022), which was attended by Ian Talbot, CEO of Chambers Ireland.

Eurochambres, joined by Chambers Ireland, condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. First and foremost, this unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state puts at risk the security of Ukrainians, as we are already sadly seeing.

The European chamber network expresses its strong support and solidarity towards colleagues in the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, towards the country’s entrepreneurial community and towards all Ukrainian citizens.

This aggression is also a serious threat to European security and stability more broadly. As the pan-European association of chambers of commerce and industry, with members not only in Ukraine but also Russia, Eurochambres is convinced that trade connects people, surmounting political or cultural barriers, enhancing prosperity and strengthening security. But trade relies on a rules-based international order, which Russia’s actions dangerously undermine.

After the Eurochambres meeting, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot said,

“Chambers Ireland supports a firm and substantial response, including economic sanctions, from the EU to this unilateral act of war by Russia.

“National chambers of commerce throughout Europe are providing advice and assistance to member companies that are active across the region.

“Our conviction is that we are stronger when we stand together. This has been at the core principle of the European project since the end of World War II. This stance must shape our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and our efforts to support Ukraine though these dark times.

“We are also calling on Government to protect businesses and critical infrastructure against potential retaliatory measures, such as cyber-attacks, and Chambers Ireland reminds members to remain vigilant to such threats.

“Our vulnerabilities highlight the urgent need for Government to place the National Cyber Security Centre on a legislative footing, and to resource it appropriately. Given the scale of the ICT sector within our national economy, and the immense importance of our IT infrastructure to our domestic and FDI economies, out digital and communication infrastructures need to see a higher prioritisation.”