Ukraine: A Watershed Moment for Corporate Diplomacy

A solemn anniversary. February 24th marked one year since the unprovoked, full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Throughout the past twelve months, the response by the Ukrainian forces in effectively driving back the Russian advances has surprised leaders across the globe, none more so than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, the effectiveness of the Ukrainian military’s answer to the invasion is not the only response Putin may have miscalculated. The solidarity of the allied nations in standing behind Ukraine and punishing the Russian regime has been exceptionally united and potent. Perhaps more impressive, though, has been the decisiveness of some private sector members in exiting Russia.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine marked a watershed moment for corporate diplomacy. In crises past, private companies abandoning opportunities in aggressor nations or cutting ties with regimes guilty of human rights violations has been limited. While Western companies still maintain relationships with some authoritarian nations, the private sector exodus from Russia stands as an example of corporations’ role in advancing their nation’s foreign policy goals and expanding the world of corporate diplomacy.

Corporate diplomacy, the advancement of global collaboration through effective leadership and engagement of the private sector, continues to be a vital skill for global business leaders, who have emerged as critical partners in combating some of the top issues that threaten economic security worldwide. Today, companies are the new diplomatic actors central to addressing the world’s shared challenges.

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Ukraine: A Watershed Moment for Corporate Diplomacy

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