Russia’s attack on Ukraine was underway. Overnight, security concerns in Europe escalated.

World leaders condemned President Putin almost unanimously, and history’s most severe and comprehensive sanctions were announced the same day.

“Even though Russian intentions with political dialogue and diplomacy proved to be insincere, few believed that Russia would choose to launch a large-scale attack on their neighbour Ukraine, Europe’s second-largest country. The attack is an unacceptable violation of international law,” says Audun Halvorsen, Executive Director for security and contingency planning in the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

Society had not had time to put the pandemic no one was prepared for behind it, before the unthinkable and unexpected struck once again. For shipping, an industry highly exposed to all the world’s crises, the consequences of the pandemic are still being felt. No one yet knows just how this crisis will play out.

“The war will have major consequences for security in our surrounding areas, for the world economy and potentially also for global supply chains. At the same time, it is too early to determine all the potential consequences for our members,” says Halvorsen.

Ukrainian and Russian sailors represent over 14 percent of the world’s crews, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. Many of these seafarers work on Norwegian Shipowners’ Association members’ ships. The safety of seafarers and ships is a priority for Norwegian shipowners.

Halvorsen reports that the association works closely with Norwegian authorities, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Mutual War Risks Insurance Association (DNK) and NORMA Cyber – a maritime cyber security centre built up by the Norwegian shipping industry.

“Together we maintain a high level of preparedness for our members in the region. In situations that are unclear and unpredictable, the competence and strength of this emergency preparedness collaboration is unique and highly valuable.”