(CMR) Premier Wayne Panton has warned that the Cayman Islands could experience price increases as Russia attacked Ukraine early Thursday, starting what could be a major war.
“It is with dismay and a heavy heart that I watched the news reports on BBC this morning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine earlier today,” Mr. Panton said in a release.
He stated that war carries a tremendous humanitarian cost and is usually the worst possible action and least effective option.
The premier said it is unacceptable that the lives of soldiers and civilians have already been lost as a result of this invasion.
“Additionally, this war presents a threat to the global economy, which is already reeling from its attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have already seen an increase in energy prices worldwide as oil rocketed past $100 a barrel. If war continues, the prices could go up, even more, affecting prices worldwide,” he explained.
“Here in the Cayman Islands, we will almost certainly see higher fuel prices, which will, in turn, impact the prices on all goods and services, and therefore the general cost of living,” Premier Panton stated.
He said that instead of war, the Cayman Islands would prefer an urgent peaceful end to this situation.
“To us, war is not a viable solution. Indeed, the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal No. 16 calls, in part, for peace,” he added.
Meantime, Premier Panton sought to reassure that the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom is unaware of any Caymanians presently in Ukraine. The Scholarship Secretariat has advised that Cayman has no students on Education Council scholarships in Ukraine.
Panton said the government would continue to monitor the situation, hoping for a diplomatic and peaceful resolution.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent children, women and men of Ukraine as they face the fear of this unprovoked attack on their lives and their country,” the premier said.