Schmitz Cargobull (SCB) said it had stopped all investments in its Russian and Belarusian plants, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The trailer maker said it was “shocked” by current developments in eastern Europe and that despite tensions in recent years, it had not considered it possible that there would be “such a violation of international law from Russia”.

The company said it had been operating in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia for decades with its own subsidiaries and workshops and had a production plant in Russia.

In a statement, SCB said: “Now we have to fear for the safety of our colleagues in Ukraine, for the well-being of their families and loved ones.

“The solidarity among our teams is fantastic, but in the middle of a war there is only very limited help from outside possible. Nonetheless, we strive to provide any kind of support we can.

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“Due to current developments, we have decided to stop all investments in our Russian and Belarusian plants and service facilities with immediate effect.”

SCB added: “Schmitz Cargobull is calling for an immediate end to fighting and respect for human rights.

“We believe prosperity and security can only grow through trade, good international relations and togetherness.

“The success of the Schmitz Cargobull family in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus since the fall of the Iron Curtain has proven this.”

When approached for comment, SCB said it was unable to provide further details.