Suffolk firms take a stand to support Ukraine against Putin's invasion

Suffolk businesses are looking to help Ukraine as the country fights against Vladimir Putin's invasion.

Suffolk businesses are looking to help Ukraine as the country fights against Vladimir Putin's invasion. - Credit: PA

Some Suffolk businesses are turning down Russian money and helping Ukrainians get home to their families, five days after Vladimir Putin's invasion of the country.

Shipping and haulage firms across the county are starting to feel direct impacts from the conflict, and some are seeking to support Ukraine directly.

Adam Searle, managing director of CP Transport, said the morals of the situation were outweighing financial considerations.

He said: "I'm sort of at a crux. One, I want paying and obviously we're aware their banks might be frozen.

"And two, do I want to do support Russian businesses? There's a moral dilemma there as well as a financial one.

"It probably hinders me more than it does them, but if enough people stand together don't support Russian businesses then it might fly up the ranks."

In Bury St Edmunds another haulage firm, A & R Group, is offering Ukrainian lorry drivers safe parking at their site if they are going back to their home country.

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Managing director Roly Hollings said: "It's very difficult for anyone in this day and age to stick together, and we just want to offer that little bit of solidarity.

"These guys, they come from Eastern Europe on their own and it's a long way from home. 

"It can be a couple of weeks before they get back home and with everything that's going on, we're saying that if they need a place to park a truck and trailer securely while they fly home then they can do that here." 

Paul Simon, head of public affairs and strategic communications at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “First and foremost, the Russia/Ukraine conflict is a humanitarian tragedy.

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Simon

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Simon - Credit: Archant

"But it is also already causing additional economic turbulence, not least in terms of its impact on energy prices and business confidence.

“For British companies that trade with either country, the impacts are both more immediate and far more serious, not least as regards their ability to fulfil their current contractual obligations.

"This is especially true of the ban on exporting dual-use goods to Russia."

He added that the Chamber was seeking clarification from business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on several points around the government's sanctions and whether affected businesses would receive government support.