Branson tells CNN Money that he has written an open letter to Putin and wants to meet with the president personally:
We all speak with one voice, and I must have spoken over 100 Russian businessmen, over 100 Ukrainian businessmen, and western businessmen, and every one of us are incredibly sad that the e dreams of what had happened when the Berlin Wall came down of the Russian people being able to trade merrily and go on the holiday with western peoples, with working together to sort out the bigger problems of the world, seems to be diminishing rapidly.
Intervention should be limited to sanctions:
President Putin, I think he needs to realize that Russian business people, and the people who have signed this document, you know, the biggest car manufacturer in Russia, the biggest dairy producers in Russia, the biggest supermarket chain, they are all self- made people who are very saddened and worried a about the way things are going. But the last thing that is needed is military intervention. And, you know, that should be a thing of the past. Further military intervention will result in decades, I think, of Russia being ostracized. It means that Europe won’t buy its fuel from Russia. The people of Russia will suffer, and that is not the answer.
Putin needs to regain the trust of the business community:
We need to get President Putin to feel not that Ukraine should be a part of Europe or Ukraine should be part of Russia, but that we should all be part of one world. I would be delighted to sit down with him and delighted to meet him and be delighted to see whether, you know, issues can be bridged, because they have to be bridged one day. And you know, today is better than waiting for tomorrow.