Caterpillar Inc., the largest maker of construction and mining equipment with more than 1,000 workers in Russia, called for a "multilateral and not unilateral" approach toward the country as the standoff over Ukraine escalates.
"History indicates that doing otherwise could be counterproductive to U.S. economic and foreign policy objectives," Rachel Potts, a spokeswoman for Peoria, Illinois- based Caterpillar, said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.
The U.S. and European Union are threatening sanctions against Russia if it doesn't back down from annexing Crimea, the disputed southern region of Ukraine which is due to hold a referendum on its future this weekend.
Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman attended the signing of legislation at the White House to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia in December 2012. The company has two main bases in Russia, a manufacturing plant in Tosno near St. Petersburg and an office in Moscow.
"Caterpillar urges Congress and the administration to support efforts to help the people of Ukraine and strengthen the International Monetary Fund so it can be more helpful," Potts said in the statement.