Businesses in Scotland are being urged to withdraw from trading with Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine.
Scotland’s Finance and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes MSP has asked companies to take “economic action” by reviewing operations for links and connections to Russia and severing them.
In an open letter to the business community, Ms Forbes said the Scottish Government and its economic agencies will use all available powers not to support trade and investment activity with Russia.
Ms Forbes described the Russian invasion as “an unprovoked and wholly unnecessary attack by the Putin regime on a peaceful, democratic nation, that not only breaks international law, but is an affront to our values and decency.”
She said everyone has “a moral duty” to consider what actions they can take do help stop “Putin’s aggression”, including via economic action.
“Nations across the world have rightly imposed severe economic sanctions against the Putin regime and its close associates. We fully support the sanctions the UK government has imposed and will do all we can to encourage and enable their strict enforcement.”
It continues: “We know that everyone wants to do the right thing here. Many businesses, sporting and cultural organisations have shown commendable corporate values and leadership, in divesting their interests in Russia, their trading relationships with Russian entities and their participation in lucrative Russian contracts. We support these decisions and would encourage all Scottish businesses to follow their example.”
She said that in addition to direct investments, reviewing operations for links and connections to Russia – however indirect – and then severing them “is the right decision.”
“I welcome the effort being undertaken right now by businesses across Scotland to do exactly that, and encourage them to continue to conduct this work at pace, and with due regard for the safety of any employees or individuals you may work with.”
Ms Forbes said that businesses would be supported as they adapt to remove links with Russia, and should contact Scottish economic agencies for more advice and support.
The Scottish Government has also committed to providing £4 million in financial aid and medical supplies to the Ukrainian Government – of which £2 million will be allocated to the Disasters Emergency Appeal to provide essential help to those in need.