Billionaire Richard Branson wants to apply his influence to find a solution to the war-torn Russia and Ukraine. Branson, joined by other business leaders, including Canadian billionaire Jeff Skoll, Unilever’s chief executive officer Paul Polman, Ukranian tycoon Victor Pinchuk want to meet with Putin to urge an end to the “cold war misery of the past” and to discourage Vladimir Putin from invading more areas of the Ukraine.
Branson said, “We will ask for a meeting with President Putin to sit down with him and express our views.” He aims to work with Europeans to find a solution to the conflict.
The conflict has been raging for months, with 2, 000 already killed in what is reported as a pro-Russian insurrection in the Ukraine. Putin denies involvement or influence, but sanctions have been imposed on Russia. Putin has declared counter-sanctions on goods from other countries.
Branson says his contacts in Russia are upset about the situation, and he fears that Russia might invade further into the Eastern Ukraine.