Multinationals in Ukraine are ready for a conflict but remain in the status quo.

Major American and European companies operating in Ukraine on Friday said they had contingency plans in place in the event of a Russian invasion but had so far not ordered the relocation of staff.

Even as Western leaders warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an attack on Ukraine, the majority of executives at multinational companies do not believe that the Russian military will actually followed by a land invasion, say. Anna Derevyanko, deputy director of European Business Association.

Ms. Derevyanko, whose association includes Nestlé, BASF, ArcelorMittal, Bayer and more than 1,000 European companies employing more than two million employees in Ukraine.

“If you ask business people, they believe a physical invasion is a low risk scenario,” she added. “There’s no sense of panic.”

The outlook on cyber attacks, on the other hand, is more worrisome. Government websites, state-owned banks and parts of the nation’s infrastructure have fended off online invasions by Ukrainians purportedly Russians that seek to disable computers and data theft. European and American companies in Ukraine see digital attacks as one of the main threats they have to deal with and have moved to strengthen their cybersecurity, Ms. Derevyanko said.

The Ukrainian IT Association, which includes local and international technology companies, such as Sigma Software and video game giant Ubisoft, says that the industry’s presence in the country has grown steadily since when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.

The association says companies in the tech industry, now worth $6.8 billion, have plans to ensure the security and safety of their employees during “emergencies” as part of their business strategy. their business, the association said in a statement.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine have accumulated strength, accumulated combat experience and are ready to defend the country and its people,” the statement continued. In return, it said, tech companies’ response plans “It’s aimed at protecting talent and the continuity of their business processes.”

More than 90% of tech companies surveyed this month rate the risk of conflict escalation as low to moderate, the association added, noting that none are prepared for a full-scale relocation. set.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine said its 633 members, including 3M, Toyota and Citibank, are continuing to operate but have a contingency plan in place to continue operating in the event of an emergency.

Andy Hunder, president of the business association, said that most of the member companies have been planning for a long time but continue to update and review them.

Derevyanko, of the European Business Association, said that Ukraine is counting on continued foreign investment to help keep the economy stable. Multinational companies are located across the country in the agribusiness, pharmaceutical, technology and logistics sectors.

Ukraine’s economy has only begun to recover in recent years from the debilitating blow following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and pro-Russian rebels seizing enclaves east of the Donbas in Ukraine. Since then, Western allies have seeded Ukraine and the businesses operating there with more than $48 billion in bilateral and multilateral economic support.

This week, the United States pledges to strengthen the Ukrainian economy, after a statement of Group of 7 people industrialized nations promise to do so.

“For now, companies are saying that they plan to continue business as usual,” Ms. Derevyanko said. But the situation could still get complicated, especially if major seaports and airports are blocked, hampering exports and dealing a stronger blow to the economy. Multinationals in Ukraine are ready for a conflict but remain in the status quo.

Fry Electronics Team

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